Ministry of Home Affairs issues guidelines against online sharing of pictures by security personnel.Reuters

Fearing leakage of crucial information through personal smartphones of armed forces personnel, the home ministry has issued guidelines to regulate sharing of secret operational and service data involving troops and officers of central paramilitary forces on internet-based platforms.

The notification indicated that "divulging" information on social media without permission of the competent authority is "against National Information Security Policy and guidelines issued by the MHA and government".

Action will be taken against those who default, the directives read. 

It "has come to the notice of government that there have been instances where mobile phones and cameras of force personnel have been used for operational coverage, and sensitive material was uploaded on social media without official permission," according to the order. 

The guideline was issued to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Security Force (BSF) and National Security Guard (NSG). 

All the sharing on social media about operations will be done through official handles or would be given to the media directly. 

There have been instances where sensitive information landed on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and others, which is a breach of security. 

Chiefs (directors general) of forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB, and NSG will be authorised to clear release of pictures, videos, text and other information on "operations and other service matters" on social media either via the official handles of these forces or directly to the media.

India has also pulled up TV channels in the past for relaying live coverage of critical ongoing operations. 

Some of India's official social media handles are @ITBP_official and @crpfindia