Indian government bans 43 apps: will not compromise on national security

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Government of India has recently blocked 43 new mobile apps, most of which are of Chinese origin.   The ban on the 43 applications is in addition to a total of 177 Chinese apps banned by the government till now, due to security and privacy threats and violations. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology imposed the ban on 43 new mobile apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act), 2000.

Under section 69A, the power to block public access to any information online whether on websites or mobile apps resides with the central government. Under Section 69A, if a website threatens India’s defence, its sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign countries and public order, the government can ban it after following due procedure. Detailed procedures to do so are listed under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.

Some of the apps blocked include AliExpress, AliSuppliers, Mobile App, Alipay Cashier, Lalamove Drive with Lalamove India, Snack Video, CamCard , etc.

The main reason for banning these apps is a national threat to security, the action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. Government has received many complaints from various sources about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs also gave a comprehensive report against the misuse of the apps.

Banning of apps sends a strong message all over the world that India will not compromise on national security and safety of its citizens. The ban may affect one of China’s most ambitious goals, namely to become the digital superpower of the 21st century. The ban will provide a good opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs to quickly rise to fill market gaps. This is also great for the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission. After the initial ban of apps, the government launched ‘Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge’ to encourage Indian application developers and innovators and facilitate their ideas and products.

India is inching closer to becoming digitally independent and foster apps and technologies made in India.