Army has issued a directive to its officers to avoid being part of any social media group with non-serving persons as members, including Army veterans. It also said that it would periodically check the officer-only groups as well to prevent breach of security amid security threats.
The move has come after attempts by foreign intelligence to gather information from social media platforms. Last month, UP Police and military intelligence foiled an attempt by a spy to use bots and hack into the computer systems of around 100 officials.
The directive also mentions that all serving officers must exit WhatsApp and other social media groups barring the ones with serving officers whose identity can be verified. The new policy has also restrained family members from posting details and information about serving officers on social media platforms.
In the officers-only groups also, army officers can only post general enquiries as well as assistance. If there are any location-specific communications, then they have been asked to communicate "one-on-one" and use military tel service, as mentioned in a report in The Indian Express.
An officer, however, told the daily that this step was aimed at curbing criticism. According to the officer, the Army believes that the retired officers who are more outspoken are fanning discontentment within the force.