As Indian government cracks down on websites purportedly carrying anti-India propaganda of terror groups such as ISIS, security agencies have found that many of these portals do not have contact details of their owners and have servers based outside the country.
The concerned agencies are finding it difficult to proceed with legal action against these websites in the absence of any co-operation from domain registrars and other entities in the US and Europe where their servers are based, official sources said.
These websites have been accused of allowing anti-national content and propaganda of various terror groups, including that of banned ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), to be hosted on their platforms.
The government recently blocked 32 websites following a Mumbai court order, citing serious national security concerns.
Out of these, only seven websites responded to the notices sent by the Indian authorities and assured that they would not allow their platforms to be used for propagating terror-linked materials.
Unfazed by criticism on micro-blogging sites like Twitter on its move to block these 32 websites, including popular video and other content sharing platforms such as DailyMotion and Vimeo, the government has made it clear that there would be no compromise on national security.
The crackdown followed after it was found that the content were being posted on these websites with an intention to create unrest, break communal harmony, which may result in law and order problems and lead to breach of peace and tranquillity, officials at the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) said.
Some of these websites were used to propagate material about Areeb Majid, an alleged ISIS member who was arrested by NIA, and also about death of one Anwar Hussain, a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka, and induce other Indians to join in activities of ISIS and other terror groups, DeitY officials added.
Armed with the court order, DeitY examined the content of these websites listed and observed that all these sites were not social media sites in the conventional sense.
These sites provide facilities for pasting/hosting of software programmes, utilities and videos to any one. Using these facilities any one can paste any information/links in any of the language, the officials added.
As content hosting on these websites is free of any cost, it has become a popular tool to use them to spreading such propaganda.
Government has been trying to strengthen cyber-monitoring in the wake of growing use of Internet and social media by global terror outfits like ISIS to indoctrinate Indian youth.
It has also initiated various efforts to cultivate and nurture experts in the area of information security.