India's digital strike against China; Bans 59 Chinese apps

NewsBharati    30-Jun-2020
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New Delhi, June 30: Giving a massive jolt to China, the Ministry of Information Technology invoking its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, banned 59 Chinese mobile apps including TikTok, UC Browser and Cam Scanner among others citing concerns that these apps are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.
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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 ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the IT Act with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. The ministry said that 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 the sovereignty and security of our country.
The Ministry of Information Technology said that they have 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 unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, it's 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 that requires emergency measures.

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Inputs from intelligence agencies have indicated that these Chinese apps have been used as either spyware or malware and are in clear violation of the terms of usage, compromising a user's privacy. "Upon receiving 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," the statement added.
"The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. 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," it added.
According to the ministry, this move 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. This moves cove after amid the ongoing tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.20 Indian Army soldiers including Commanding Officer were martyred when a violent faceoff took place night while the de-escalation process was underway in the Galwan Valley.
Hours after that decision Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok has been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.