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Twitter suspends Open Source intelligence accounts after requests from Indian government: Reports

Twitter suspends Open Source intelligence accounts after requests from Indian government: Reports

Twitter suspended several open source intelligence (OSINT) accounts on the platform, after requests from India for allegedly spreading misinformation on the platform and violating Indian laws, according to reports. One prominent account that was suspended was ElintNews, which has been restored. The account which is run by a British student was suspended for violation of Indian laws, according to a copy of the Twitter notice that was shared by ThePrint. 

Other OSINT accounts that were suspended and later restored were Intellipus, IntelCrab and account run by Ryan Barenklau, who is a student based in Texas. IntelCrab is run by a 19-year-old student Justin Peden based in Tennessee. Peden told The Daily Beast , “I’m interested in global affairs and over the years I’ve amassed an incredible network of contacts, closed and open source… It’s an irony being famed as a retired Pakistani general.”

According to The Daily Beast, which claims to have seen copies of several Twitter notices that were addressed to these accounts, the request for blocking came from the Indian government. Interestingly, the notice sent to Barenklau and ElintNews, which said the tweets were in violation of Indian laws, highlighted tweets which had nothing to do with the India, points out the report.

Peden was suspended for maintaining “multiple accounts with overlapping use cases.” The accounts had also given details of Indian military aircraft on February 26 and 27, which was the day of the Balakot strikes, according to a report on The Print. 

The live movements were recorded websites like http://www.flightradar24.com, which provide real time tracking facilities for all flights in the world. These also also showed Indian Air Force jets were moving.

Last month, a report last month by the journal Great Game India had claimed these accounts were spreading fake news and alleged that they were run by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. When the accounts were suspended, Great Game India also tweeted out saying that these accounts were now gone.

Check out the tweets below while the accounts were suspended

The tweets by Great Game India, which had earlier labelled some of these accounts as spreading fake news and as Pakistani propaganda handles.

Twitter has not commented on the issue so far. We have reached out to Twitter for a comment and will update accordingly.