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The government of India has banned Greta Thunberg ‘inspired’ website “Fridays For Future” after it spammed mailbox of Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar by sending thousands of emails to him.
According to the reports, the ‘Fridays for Future’ and two other websites have been blocked on government orders and have been charged under the cognizable and punishable criminal offence under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The action has been taken against the websites of ‘Let India Breathe’ and ‘There is No Earth B’, along with ‘Fridays For Future’.
Reportedly, ‘Fridays for Future’ or FFF India, had started in an online campaign on 4 June 2020 to protest against the Ministry of Environment’s Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020, which was issued on 23 March. The environmental activists had criticised the draft for diluting the green law and favouring rich builders.
Following this, FFF India and climate ‘activists’ began to send several emails to email addresses for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Environment Minister, Prakash Javdekar.
As ‘activists’ associated with FFF India began to harass the minister by spamming his email account, Prakash Javdekar lodged a complaint with Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Unit.
On 8 July 2020, the Delhi Police sent a notice to Big Rock, the domain name registrar, under section 79(3)(B) of the IT Act 2000 to block FFF India. Along with FFF India, two more initiatives involved in similar campaigns were also blocked.
“In the above-mentioned complaint of Hon’ble Cabinet Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar regarding the incident of getting multiple emails on his email address with the subject name similar to ‘EIA 2020’,” the notice regarding FFF India read.
The notice further reads, “After the investigation mainly below mentioned website is sending emails to him. Their unlawful activities on this website may disturb the peace, sovereignty of India.”
The notice further said, “The above website depicts objectionable contents and unlawful activities or terrorist act, which are dangerous for the peace, tranquillity and sovereignty of India. The publication and transmission of such objectionable contents is a cognizable and punishable criminal offence under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.”
Fridays for Future, also known as School strike for climate, Youth for Climate, Climate Strike or Youth Strike for Climate, is an international movement of school students who take time off from class on Fridays to participate in demonstrations demanding action to prevent climate change. The movement began after student climate activist Greta Thunberg staged a protest in August 2018 outside the Swedish Parliament holding a sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” or “School strike for climate”. Since then, the phrases have been used by climate activists across the world, even though they are directly not associated with Greta Thunberg.