The Indian government asked the Social Networking sites to block 1,208 urls in 2013 so far. In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Union Minister Kapil Sibal revealed the sites were asked to block urls in order to abide by court orders. The government had asked to block 8, 21,352 and 1,208 URLs during 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
According to Sibal, about 362 URLs were blocked in 2012 of which 312 URLs were taken down during the time of exodus of North East people from different parts of the country. So far about 62 URLs have been blocked this year.
"The web pages were hosting objectionable information and had the potential to disturb the public order in the country and blocked for access to public in the country on the request of law enforcement agencies," he is quoted as saying.
"There is no institutional monitoring mechanism for monitoring social networking sites. At present, law enforcement and intelligence/security agencies make searches on the Internet on specific case-to-case basis," he added.
The new figures come at a time when the Internet companies such as Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are running a massive campaign for transparency on the web. According to the transparency reports by these companies, India ranks high in the list of the governments seeking users' information.
The Indian government has faced flak for its alleged attempts to monitor and control the Internet, especially the social networking websites. Last year, arrest of two Maharashtra girls for posting anti-Thackery triggered a nationwide debate on the Internet freedom.