India bans 59 mobile apps which are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”
GN Bureau | June 30, 2020
India, facing China’s aggressiveness at border, has banned 59 smartphone apps, including TikTok, as they were indulging in activities harmful to India’s sovereignty and integrity.
The reason cited was: “in view of information available they are engaged in activities which [are] prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users, the government has said, adding that it is “a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace”.
The Ministry of Information Technology on Monday afternoon invoked its powers under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats, and blocked 59 apps.
The move comes after the violent skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control (LoC) in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15-16, in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. The events had prompted a vast number of Indians to launch an impromptu campaign to boycott apps as well as products of Chinese origin.
India has also taken a number of steps to curtain its economic engagement with the belligerent neighbor (Read more on that here).
Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space, the ministry said in an official release.
“At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” it said.
The ministry added that it had received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures”.
“The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps,” it said.
The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues, according to the ministry. “Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.”
The banned apps
Clash of Kings
DU battery saver
Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
ES File Explorer
Viva Video – QU Video Inc
New Video Status
Cache Cleaner DU App studio
Hago Play With New Friends
Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
QQ Security Center
V fly Status Video
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