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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the role of social networking sites in internal security challenges. (150 words)

    05 Jan, 2022 GS Paper 3 Internal Security


    • Impact of social media on society now a days; role of influencers
    • How does social media poses threat to security
    • Role played in overcoming the national security challenges.
    • Steps taken and way forward


    Social media can be defined as any web or mobile based platform that enables an individual or agency to communicate interactively and enables exchange of user generated content.

    Connectedness, Collaboration and Community can be identified as critical characteristics of social media. Social networking sites has immense role in recent developments across the globe with special reference to incidents in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Social networking sites are influential, empowering and to some extent more democratic.

    Role played in internal security challenges:

    • Social networking sites are being used to transmit hate speech, recruit youth for terrorist activities (ISIL).
    • The biggest challenge for internal security of nation through social networking site is cyber terrorism. It is simply the use of computer network tools to damage vital national infrastructures.
    • Social networking sites also pose major challenge in financial and organized crime which destabilizes the system. The organized criminal groups have found in social networks a forum to position themselves in the popular culture as an alternative lifestyle.
    • Honey trapping via the social media also poses threat to national security.

    Social media sites can also help in internal security positively

    • Help reach government programs to the remote areas and cater to their grievances.
    • Several district administrations use it for better service delivery. E.g. Karnataka police, uses the medium for traffic management and information dissemination, It had also started leveraging social media to solve criminal cases establishing a ‘HelpKarnatakaCID’
    • Use of social media as a force multiplier for internal cohesion.
    • The Social Media Labs Project: The Maharashtra Police set up a pilot project to track activity on social media to gauge public moods on issues and ‘step-up its preparedness’ in anticipating and handling sudden flare ups.

    Article 69 (b) of the IT Act 2000 empowers the government of India, in this case the Dept. of Electronics and Information Technology, “to authorise to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for cyber security” for cyber incidents and breaches.

    Section 79 of the IT Act requires intermediaries to advice users of its services not to post information which is harmful/offensive and violates the law of India.

    Recommendations For Future Frameworks:

    • Institutionalise the blueprint for a National Social Media Policy.
    • Implement and institutionalise the Framework of Guidelines on social media engagement.
    • Create awareness on the Challenges posed by social media.
    • Create organisational ecosystems, circumvent hierarchies, encourage outreach.
    • Empower agencies, build talent, and use specialists.
    • The National Cyber security Policy, 2014 must be regularly upgraded to tackle the upcoming challenges.

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