Indian Navy has banned the use of social networking platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for all its personnel within naval areas. The Indian Navy has also passed an order stating that smartphones will not be allowed on board ships and naval airbases bases anymore. The order issued on December 27 comes days after the arrest of eight persons, including seven Navy personnel from Vishakhapatnam and a Hawala operator from Mumbai for their alleged involvement in a spy ring with links to Pakistan.
The spy ring was busted by Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Department in association with Central Intelligence Agencies and Naval Intelligence. According to sources, the Pakistani spies had targeted the naval personnel using some social networking sites and had tried to elicit confidential information from them.
It is to be noted that Indian Navy is regarded by many as the pioneering service when it comes to using the social media use for disseminating information about its operational achievements and matters like the Human Assistance and Disaster Relief. The Indian Navy also uses its Facebook page and Twitter handle for the recruitment advertisement and first service to have launched its own YouTube channel.