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Indian Navy forbids personnel from using smartphones, social media at its installations

PTI     December 31, 2019

The Indian Navy has barred its personnel from using smartphones and social media at its installations after it busted an espionage racket this month involving sailors, sources said on Monday.

The moves come after the Navy busted a racket where seven of its personnel were found leaking sensitive information through social media platforms, including Facebook, on December 20.

Three sailors were arrested from strategically crucial Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapattanam, three from the Western Naval Command, one from the Karwar naval base of Karnataka.

In the past, the Army has cautioned its officials against 150 fake social media profiles that are being used by adversaries for honey-trapping in order to extract sensitive information.

An advisory regarding this was sent to Army personnel last month to make its personnel aware of the "trap".

It also said fake social media profiles have been trying to engage with the Army personnel for extracting information by pretending to be fellow Army officers, police personnel or even posing as women.

Last month, Rajasthan Police's intelligence unit arrested an Army jawan, who was honey-trapped by an agent of Pakistan's ISI, for allegedly sharing confidential and strategic information. He was targeted through Facebook and WhatsApp, they said.

Earlier this year, another jawan of the Indian Army was honey-trapped through social media.

Last year, a Group Captain of the Indian Air Force and an engineer working with Brahmos Aerospace Pvt Ltd were also honey-trapped through social media.

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