As many as 492 URLs of social media websites were blocked this year till November 30 under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Friday. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Upper House that a further 352 URLs of social media websites were blocked in 2015 following court orders, reported PTI.

Prasad said that the government takes prompt action under the IT act to block websites or URLs with objectionable content, whenever it receives requests from designated nodal officers or upon court orders. "Section 69A empowers the government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of... India," the minister said.

The blocking of 492 URLs under the IT act is a significant jump from the 13 and 10 URLs blocked in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team gets requests for blocking of objectionable content shared by individuals and organisations. It then forwards those requests to the websites concerned for appropriate action to be taken.