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Tripura Police tells Twitter to remove tweets and block handles amid communal unrest

The legal notice to Twitter asking it to fork over IP addresses and mobile numbers of users has raised eyebrows.

Tripura Police has booked 68 Twitter users under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly spreading objectionable content about the recent violence in the northeastern State. The Police also sent a legal notice to Twitter asking the platform to block their accounts and remove their tweets on the recent clash and alleged attack upon mosques in the state. Since then, the tweets have been deleted. In a notice issued under Section 91 of the CrPC on November 3, addressed to Jeremy Kessel, Senior Director of Global Legal Policy at Twitter, Tripura Police informed that cases were registered against the Twitter users for their tweets that allegedly had the "potential to flare communal tension in Tripura State between people of different religious communities, which may result in communal riots". A copy of the notice was provided by the Internet Freedom Foundation, an Indian digital liberties organisation. The West Agartala Police Station in the West Tripura district also asked Twitter for the following user details — Registration details of the 68 account holders Activity logs of the account since registration List of IP addresses from which the user logged into the account Mobile number added to the Twitter account List of linked accounts associated with the account News reports revealed that 34 other Twitter users have been booked under UAPA bringing the total number to 102. MediaNama was unable to independently verify the exact figure. These Twitter takedown notices point to a clampdown on free speech on social media. Similar takedown notices have been sent…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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