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Armed personnel told to stay away from Facebook, Twitter news
20 December 2011

Indian authorities are clearly unwilling to give up the struggle to control content on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter on the all-embracing ground of 'security'.

A Times of India report says the defence establishment has decided that such sites have become a trap set by enemy spies, many of them alluring females in what has become known as a ''honey trap'' since the Cold War; the term having been promoted by spy writer John Le Carre.

Senior officers of the paramilitary and regular armed forces have been told to ideally stay away from these websites, or at least stop flaunting their career information on them, the report says.

Cases of cyber espionage have come to light where personnel of paramilitary forces posted in 'sensitive' areas were found chatting with spies from across the border or foreign agents who were posing as women on the internet, according to the ToI report citing unnamed official sources.

Sources in the telecom department said a mechanism was being put in place to keep a vigil on officials posted in sensitive areas. In some cases, officials were found in video-chats over objectionable activities that was recorded by spies of other countries and used later for blackmail to gain military or commercial information.

The report adds that the officials were immediately removed from these sensitive areas and departmental action was initiated against them.

Sources said some of the officials were seen posing in uniform with their service rifles or revolvers. On being questioned, they said their only motive was to impress people, especially girls.

While the number of such incidents was more in paramilitary forces, a few were also reported in the armed forces, the report adds.

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Armed personnel told to stay away from Facebook, Twitter