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India seeks US, Saudi help to track down IP addresses

August 21, 2012 20:04 IST
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India has sought help from the United States and Saudi Arabia to track down the internet Protocol addresses of the webpages where morphed images and videos were uploaded to create social unrest in the country.

Technical details and IP addresses are being sought from the two countries by sending Letters Rogatory (LR) as computer servers of Google, Facebook and Twitter are located  in America while several inflammatory contents were uploaded in some of the webpages in Saudi Arabia.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh spoke to Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and apprised him on information about bulk of the morphed images being sourced to Pakistan.

Home ministry officials said information gathered through LR is acceptable in a court of law as legal evidence and these will be shared with Pakistan. As the government ordered blocking of 65 new webpages today, taking the number to 310, names of two Pakistani political parties -- Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf -- and a private TV channel of that country have surfaced in some of the images and videos which were uploaded in different webpages with the aim of inciting Muslims in India leading to the mass exodus of people of the northeastern region from places lKarnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Technical details of these images and videos are being gathered to find out whether the two parties and the media organisation or some of their members were really involved in it or not, the officials said.

Ministry officials said so far 207 webpages have been blocked by the government agencies after orders were issued to block 310 as technical investigation found that all  offensive images and videos were uploaded in them.

Of the 310 webpages, 93 webpages are expected to be blocked within a day or two while experts are examining the contents of remaining ten webpages.

Officials said agencies were facing some difficulties in blocking 28 webpages due to non-cooperation of social networking sites like Twitter. India had yesterday said that it would share with Pakistan evidence on involvement of elements there to whip up communal sentiments in this country.

Pakistan, on its part, rejected as 'baseless and unfounded' India's assertion on the involvement of elements there in posting morphed images on the internet in a bid to fan communal tensions and asked New Delhi to provide evidence in this regard.

Officials said more than 60 per cent of the offending contents were uploaded abroad -- mostly in Pakistan – while remaining in India. Morphed images and photographs of people who had died in cyclones and earthquakes were circulated as victims of violence in Myanmar, officials said.

Driven by rumours, over 30,000 northeast people had fled Bengaluru fearing attacks on them while many of them left Chennai and Pune last week.

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