To prevent Indian politicians and their political parties from cyber attack, social networking giant Facebook has launched 'Cyber Threat Crisis', under which it will provide e-mail based hotline to India's politicians and political parties in order to secure their data.

Under the hotline, compromised accounts and even the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), which works under union ministry of electronics and IT, can write to indiacyberthreats@fb.com in the event of cyber interference including suspected hacks. In a contrast, it is seen that political parties in India is itself using data of millions of users in India to target potential voters and change their political opinions, exactly like what Cambridge Analytica did in the last presidential election in the US.

Facebook also released a “cyber hygiene guide” for political accounts. These include best practices for politicians and political parties on how to keep Facebook Pages and accounts secure.

"At times, a few sophisticated bad actors will seek to target high-profile political figures and those connected to them to undermine democratic discourse online. This cyber security guide provides best practices for politicians and political parties on how to keep your Facebook pages and Facebook accounts secure. We are also making available to politicians and political parties in India a special Cyber Threats Crisis Email Line for compromised Facebook pages and accounts." says a note attached to the guide.

These efforts are part of Facebook’s broader Indian Election Integrity Initiative.

The announcement comes a day after the company, co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, submitted its responses to the union government’s questions on user privacy and election integrity, which is Indian government’s second such round of questions to the company.

Through the Indian elections integrity microsite, Facebook will be putting out dynamic updates to what the social network is doing in terms of education, enforcement, and what we are doing with fact-checking partners.

Last month, Facebook partnered with BOOM, a Bengaluru-based fact-checking website, to flag pieces of misinformation on the website. Content reported as fake news is down-ranked on the social network to prevent it from going viral.

Last October, Facebook had announced that it would roll out a feature, where political and issue-based ads would be marked as such, and carry a disclosure on sponsorship. This feature will be extended to India ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“The entire purpose of ads transparency is disclosure. So if you’re running an issue campaign in support of a candidate, and if it’s an issue ad, that ad will have to have a disclosure saying who’s paid for it. There has to be an assignment of interest and that will help you say that well, this surrogate is actually supported by so-and-so,” said Ankhi Das, who is Facebook's public policy director for India and South and Central Asia.

Earlier last year, Election Commission of India partnered with Facebook to launch first nationwide voter registration reminder by showing the 'Register Now' button to people on Facebook in India who are eligible to vote.

Via - Times of India | Top Image - usatoday.com

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