Centre withdraws Social Media Hub Policy

• The centre today told the Supreme Court that it will undertake a complete review of its social media policy and has withdrawn its notification proposing a social media hub, which some alleged could become a tool to monitor online activity of citizens.

• The bench was hearing a petition filed by TMC MLA Mahua Moitra alleging that the Centre’s Social Media Hub policy was to be used as a tool to monitor social media activities of the citizens and should be quashed.

• On July 13, the apex court had asked the government whether its move to create such a hub was to tap people’s WhatsApp messages, and observed that it will be like creating a ‘surveillance state’.

• On June 18, the apex court refused to an urgent hearing on the plea seeking to stay the ministry’s move to set up a ‘social media communication hub’ that would collect and analyze digital and social media content.

• In may this year, the Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Limited, a public sector undertaking under the ministry, had floated a tender to supply software for the project.