Anti-government social media posts will be considered 'cybercrime': Bihar Government
Posting objectionable, anti-government content on social media platforms will now be considered cybercrime in Bihar, the state government announced on Friday. It said that action will be taken against any individual or organization found making indecent, misleading, and objectionable social media posts against the government, ministers, the members of the state legislature and the Parliament, other elected representatives, and government officials. Here's more.
Economic Offenses Wing ADG writes to all secretaries of state
Nayyar Hasnain Khan, the Additional Director-General (ADG) of the State Economic Offenses Wing (EOW), the Bihar Police's nodal agency for cybercrimes, wrote to the secretaries and principal secretaries of the state, informing them of the decision. He asked them to notify the EOW if they find any defamatory/offensive social media posts against the state government so that action could be taken as per law.
This is against law and comes under cyber crime: Khan
In the letter, Khan wrote, "It has recently come to light that certain persons and organizations have been making defamatory and offensive comments on social media against the government, respected ministers, legislators, members of the Parliament, and government officials." "This is against the law and comes under the category of cyber crime," he stated.
Here's the circular issued by the ADG of EOW
Social Media Surveillance in Bihar?— Tanya Yadav (@TanyaYadav128) January 22, 2021
"Action will be taken against those who make objectionable, indecent and misleading comments against government, ministers and govt officials on social media" - ADG Nayyar Hasnain Khan, Economic Offences Unit, Bihar Police #Bihar pic.twitter.com/QlEr2qnXdj
Investigation will happen in cases of cognizable offenses: Khan
"Investigation will happen in cases of cognizable offenses only. It's not a matter of muzzling freedom of speech. All objectionable, indecent comments inciting unrest in society are illegal & qualifies as cybercrime (sic)," Khan told news agency ANI.
Take a look at what Khan said
Investigation will happen in cases of cognizable offences only. It's not a matter of muzzling freedom of speech. All objectionable, indecent comments inciting unrest in society are illegal qualifies as cybercrime: Nayyar Hasnain Khan, ADG, Economic Offences Wing, Bihar (2/2) https://t.co/1O9Kj1cj1Y— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2021
Chief Minister following the footsteps of Hitler: Tejashwi Yadav
Meanwhile, Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition in Bihar's Assembly, took a dig at CM Nitish Kumar and also expressed outrage over the new social media policy of the state government. "Look at the deeds of the Chief Minister who is following in the footsteps of Hitler. Nitish ji, we understand that you are completely tired. But, at least, have some shame," he tweeted.
Constructive criticism is still welcome: Bihar Police
Soon after the state government brought anti-government social media posts under the purview of cybercrime, the Bihar Police issued a clarification, saying that "constructive criticism" is still welcome. "Criticism is healthy for democracy. But criticism must be constructive and the language used must fall within the norms of decency," said Jitendra Kumar, Additional Director General (Headquarters) of the Bihar Police.
Advisory issued keeping in mind rumors, factually incorrect information
"This advisory (regarding anti-government posts) was issued keeping in mind rumors and factually incorrect information and involving the use of insulting language on social media - these are punishable offenses under the IT Act," said Kumar.