- Matter comes up during Twitter’s briefing to India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology.
- FO says Twitter handles belonging to Kashmiri political leaders and media persons continue to remain blocked.
- Pakistan asks India to unblock accounts of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions and Radio Pakistan.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan expressed serious concern on Monday over reports on the Indian government’s attempt to infiltrate the security system of the social media platform, Twitter, by forcing it to employ an Indian “agent/representative”, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said Monday.
On August 23, a former Twitter security chief alleged that the Indian government forced the social media firm to put a government agent on the payroll, according to a whistleblower disclosure with US regulators.
Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko said the government agent would have had access to sensitive user data due to Twitter’s weak security infrastructure.
According to the statement, reports revealed that the matter came up during Twitter’s briefing to India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology where legal depositions made in the US by a former Twitter employee were also discussed.
The statement said that a large number of Twitter handles particularly those belonging to Kashmiri political leaders and media persons, continue to remain blocked due to India’s frivolous legal objections.
Last month, Pakistan also registered its strong protest with the Indian government over the blocking of access to the content of several Twitter handles of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions as well as the national broadcaster Radio Pakistan.
“Pakistan deplores India’s brazen abuse of state power and strong-arm tactics to manipulate and force-regulate the Internet sphere,” said the statement, adding that “these actions are not only against international standards, obligations, norms, and framework of the flow of information but also reflect the alarming pace of shrinking space for pluralistic voices and curbing of fundamental freedoms in India.”
Pakistan called upon India to immediately reverse the blockage of Twitter accounts of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions and Radio Pakistan.
It also asked the Indian government to adhere to the established international norms and standards of freedom of expression as espoused by the United Nations, and desist from employing subterfuges to control the global Internet domain.
— Additional information from Reuters.