New Delhi: Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's personal website has been hacked and defaced by groups alleging Internet censorship and curbs on free speech.
The website 'www.kapilsibalmp.com' was on Thursday attacked and contents were altered to show the minister in poor light. Sibal, who represents the Chandni Chowk constituency in Parliament, uses this portal to interact with his constituency.
While most of the website has been restored, certain sections like blogs, gallery, speeches and conversation were still not working.
While no official comment was immediately available, a source in the minister's office said the website is an old one and had not been updated for sometime now.
The Twitter account of Anonymous India (@opindia_revenge) said Sibal's site was getting "trolled".
"The time to sit silently is gone. Call your friends and get them to protests sites," said a link posted on the Twitter handle.
Meanwhile, the the government today said about 294 websites belonging to various ministries and government departments were hacked in the January-October 2012 period.
"A total number of 201, 303, 308 and 294 websites belonging to various ministries and departments in the government were hacked during the year 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 (till October), respectively," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said. Following uproar over arrests under Section 66 (A), the government has on Thursday said it will issue guidelines mandating that no less than a police officer of a rank of DCP will be allowed to permit registration of a case under the controversial Section.
In the case of metropolitan cities, such an approval would have to come at the level of Inspector General of Police.
The guidelines were issued after the controversial arrests of two teenage girls who had posted on Facebook objecting to a bandh-like situation in Mumbai after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death and were arrested.
A 19-year-old boy was detained in Thane district on suspicion of posting an "objectionable" Facebook comment against MNS chief Raj Thackeray but later let off.
Currently, a police station in-charge or an inspector can register a case under the said provision. Section 66 (A), which is a bailable offence and provides for a jail term of up to three years, makes it an offence to send, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information which is grossly offensive, menacing, causes annoyance or hatred.
However, activists said while the intention is noble, the move will not help achieve the desired motive.
"Only Parliamentary amendments in the IT Act can achieve the desired objective. The issuance of guidelines without amending the IT Act are cosmetic changes to satisfy the backlash from social media," noted cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal said.