Navy bans use of smartphones, social media at its bases

The two women officers are eventually expected to fly MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters that the Navy will procure from Lockheed-Martin.

The Indian Navy has banned the use of social media and smartphones at naval bases, dockyards, and on board warships and vessels.

The move comes after the recent arrest of seven Navy personnel who were reportedly caught leaking sensitive information to enemy intelligence agencies on social media.

Navy sources said the step was to ensure fool-proof security of naval installations and assets.

Taking into consideration the recent arrest, sources said, “We do understand that this may come at the cost of some discomfort, however, the decision is in the larger national interest. Directives on usage of social media and smartphones for Indian Navy personnel have existed before.”

On December 20, the Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Department had launched an operation in association with Central intelligence agencies and Naval intelligence and had arrested seven Navy personnel and a ‘hawala’ operator from Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai, after they allegedly passed on sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler. All these seven sailors who were recruited in 2017 had fallen prey to a honey trap on Facebook in September 2018.

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