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Sansad TV’s YouTube Account Terminated After Hackers Deface Channel

Channel terminated for alleged flouting of YouTube’s ‘Community Guidelines’, restored back now

A statement from Sansad TV said account compromised due to ‘unauthorised activities by scamsters’

This comes barely days after YouTube accounts of major Indian crypto exchanges were hacked by cybercriminals

State-owned Sansad TV’s YouTube account was terminated by the video-sharing platform today (Feb 15) for violating ‘Community Guidelines.’

The channel was later restored back and is currently operational.

In response, Sansad TV issued a statement saying that the account was compromised due to ‘unauthorised activities by some scamsters.’

Officials also stated that certain elements had changed the channel’s name to ‘Ethereum’, the name of a  popular cryptocurrency.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) responded to the matter and has also alerted the Sansad TV about the incident.

Google, which owns the platform, is yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Sansad TV is a state backed television channel that broadcasts the functioning of the two houses of the Indian Parliament. 

Prior to March 2021, there were two channels – Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV, that would broadcast the functioning of the respective Houses. The two were merged to form one consolidated channel. However, separate satellite channels continue to broadcast the functioning of both Houses.

Interestingly, Sansad TV Lok Sabha’s YouTube channel continues without a hitch and has not been affected.

YouTube says that the platform enforces strict community guidelines pertaining to fake engagement, impersonation, child safety, nudity and sexual content, among other elements.

The platform also states that these regulations are employed using a combination of human reviewers and machine learning tools.

While there is no clarity yet on who the perpetrators were, this puts the social media giant again under the government’s lens. This isn’t the first time Indian leaders and platforms have been targeted by hackers.

Barely weeks ago, YouTube accounts of several Indian cryptocurrency exchanges – CoinDCX, WazirX, Unocoin, were hacked by cybercriminals.

Earlier in December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was compromised briefly, sending out a tweet that had declared that cryptocurrency was legal in India. 

PM’s account was previously also hacked in September 2020, sending out tweets that sought Covid donations through cryptocurrency.

Add to that, Twitter had also briefly locked the then Minister for Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s handle for violating copyright laws in June last year. 

This was followed by Twitter locking the handle of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi for publishing the pictures of the family of a nine year old girl who was raped in Delhi.

The incident  highlighted lax security measures in place at social media platforms. This could evolve into a full blown fracas and social media platforms could face music. 

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