In light of the US-based social networking sites Facebook and Twitter refusing to share data on users involved in suspicious net activity – citing their strict privacy settings, Indian cyber security experts are mulling over the option of introducing a “desi” social networking site.  

The Times of India reports that the plan is to have a “parallel” social networking site that may be owned by a reputed domestic media house. Such a site would not only compete with the US-based sites, but would also adhere to the nation's security norms, it said. Interestingly, India draws its inspiration from neighbour China, who has its answer to Twitter and Facebook in its own Sina Weibo and Renren sites. However, India is not keen on blocking US-based sites like Beijing did. A government official, who is a part of the cyber security planning, told TOI these US-based sites for whom India is a “large and lucrative market” would be affected by the entry of Indian social networking sites. 

Setting up institutional mechanism to check social networking misuse (Image credit: Getty Images

“Desi” answer to US-based Facebook and Twitter (Image credit: Getty Images

Such sites would eventually be forced to comply with the nation's cyber surveillance norms by either setting up servers in India or by being more cooperative in giving the details of the identity of users posting objectionable content. “Officials involved with cyber security indicated that the idea is to use existing big domestic media houses to launch the alternative Indian social networking sites. This would guard against attempts by the foreign giants to snuff out competition by buying out any smaller Indian ventures. The government will act as a facilitator in creating the 'desi' Twitter and Facebook, and may even offer an initial financial push,” the report added. 

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