The government on Wednesday said it has issued directions to intermediaries for blocking 690 webpages/ URLs for carrying anti-social and anti-national and hateful content under Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 this year.
"Based on the request of law enforcement agencies and directions of the Courts during the last three years, the competent authority...issued directions to intermediaries for blocking of 690 webpages/URLs carrying such anti-social, anti-national and hateful content," Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Out of these, 663 webpages/URLs were blocked during the current year , he added.
A URL or Uniform Resource Locator is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.
"All the intermediaries complied with the directions issued to them by the competent authority and blocked the webpages/URLs for access in the country," Sibal said.
Sibal said according to National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), a total of 420, 966 and 1,791 cyber crime cases were registered under the IT Act, 2000 during 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The highest number of cyber crime cases under the IT Act were registered in Andhra Pradesh (349), followed by Maharashtra (306), Kerala (227), Karnataka (151), Rajasthan (122) and Uttar Pradesh (101) in 2011.
A total of 1,184 persons were arrested in 2011 for cyber crime under the IT Act.
Responding to a separate query, Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said the government is in regular dialogue with the intermediaries, including social networking sites for effective and efficient disablement of such content.
As per data available with NCRB, the number of cases registered under the IT Act, 2000 for obscene publication/ transmission in electronic form were 139, 328 and 496 during the years 2009, 2010 and 2012, he said.
"As per the information tracked and reported to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), during the period May 17-June 15, 2012, a total number of 25 websites were defaced by the 'Anonymous' group," Deora said.
The same group also launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on 17 websites belonging to government, corporate sector and other organisations, he added.
Deora said the hacker group had launched DDoS attacks against the CERT-In website as well but was not able to hack into or slowdown the website.
"CERT-In has empanelled a total of 22 IT security auditors who may be engaged by any government or private organisation to conduct security audit of their IT infrastructure," Deora said.
CERT-In is also regularly issuing alerts and advisories regarding DDoS attacks and latest cyber threats along with appropriate counter measures, he added.