DHARAMSALA, 30 June: India has banned 59 malicious Chinese mobile apps as it identifies them “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.”
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced the move to disallow the usage of popular apps which include WeChat, TikTok, Cam Scanner and UC Browser among others late on Monday night “under the section 69A of the Information Technology Act to safeguard the privacy of 130 crore Indians.”
The Ministry has stated in a press release that it reached the decision after it “received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to serves which have locations outside India.”
“The complaints 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 great concern which requires emergency measures,” the Ministry said in its statement.
Additionally, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre in the home ministry is also stated to have sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.
“On the Basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile internet-enabled devices,” it added.
The ministry concluded by adding that the move to ban the Apps ranging from gaming to music streaming and social media will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.
“This Decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
Meanwhile, it remains unclear how India will enforce this ban. While the Apps may be taken off from the App Store and Play Store in India, the Apps have been downloaded on phones across the country.