Indian Navy banned the use of Facebook for all its personnel with an immediate effect, the news agency ANI reported on Friday. Also, the Indian Navy has banned the use of smartphones at naval bases, dockyards, and onboard warships.
According to the restriction order issued on December 27, apart from Facebook and smartphones, the ban has been extended to the messaging apps like WhatsApp, networking and blogging apps, content sharing, hosting websites, as well as e-commerce platforms.
It is to be noted that the stringent step from the Indian Navy comes days after seven naval personnel were caught leaking sensitive information to enemy intelligence agencies over social media.
On December 20, the Andhra Pradesh police busted an espionage racket with links to Pakistan and arrested seven personnel of the Indian Navy in this connection.
A release from police said the Intelligence wing in concert with Central Intelligence agencies and Naval intelligence launched Operation Dolphin's Nose and unearthed the espionage racket.
"An FIR has been lodged and seven Navy personnel and a hawala operator have been arrested from different parts of the country. Some more suspects are being questioned," the police release said. Investigation is on, it added.
Later, all the accused were were produced before NIA court in Vijayawada. They have been remanded to judicial custody till January 3.
However, the Indian Navy maintained that its critical assets were intact and that there was no breach.