A committee under the IT Act examined a total of 41,172 URLs received from nodal officers in various ministries, departments, and state during 2018 to March 15 2023: Ashwini Vaishnaw
The government, in a separate reply, told the Lok Sabha that data breach incidents involving personal data stood at 31 and 40 in 2021 and 2022, respectively
The government has introduced the draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill to protect digital personal data of users
The Indian government gave directions to block 30,310 URLs from 2018 to March 15, 2023 under Section 69A of the IT Act, Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha.
These web addresses included social media URLs, accounts, channels, pages, apps, web pages, websites, among others.
Section 69A of Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 give government the power to issue directions to block access to information if it is necessary or expedient to do so.
In a written response, Vaishnaw said that a committee constituted under the IT Act examined a total of 41,172 URLs received from nodal officers in various ministries, departments, states during the aforementioned period for blocking.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar informed the House in a separate reply that data breach incidents involving personal data stood at 31 and 40 in 2021 and 2022, respectively, according to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
CERT-In coordinates incident response measures with affected organisations, service providers, respective sector regulators and law enforcement agencies, and notifies the affected organisations regarding cyber incidents, along with remedial actions to be taken.
“Government is committed to ensure that the internet in India is open, safe and trusted and accountable for its users. With emergence of new technology and rise in the usage of internet, the growing risk to digital data in cyberspace is a global phenomenon, and the government is fully cognizant of the same,” the minister said.
He also said that the Ministry of Electronics and IT has prepared the draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 for digital personal data protection. The Bill is going through “extensive consultation” to generate necessary feedback to formulate the provisions of the related legislative proposal.
In November 2022, the government published the long-awaited draft Bill. It has narrowed down its scope to focus on personal data, rather than regulating the use of non-personal data.
The Bill has received fresh comments from opposition MPs in the Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT). The MPs have raised concerns over the Bill and reportedly suggested close to 40 amendments.
Centralisation of power, lack of independence of the Data Protection Board, blanket exemptions to some data fiduciaries and exceptions provided to the government in the draft Bill are among the issues on which the MPs raised concerns.
Data breach and cybercrimes are a serious problem affecting government organisations, startups, and corporations. Train ticketing platform RailYatri suffered a data breach in December last year. Earlier in 2022, Flipkart-owned online travel aggregator (OTA) Cleartrip was also the target of a cyberattack which resulted in a major data breach.
As per the government, India saw 13.91 Lakh cyber security incidents in 2022.