TikTok, various other Chinese apps banned in India: A notification is expected to be issued by Internet service providers’ by giving instructions to block these apps.
India on Monday banned 59 apps originating from China, including very popular ones like the short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt, Camscanner, Helo, WeChat and so on, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security,” Parallel Space, Vault and other shopping apps like Club Factory are among the other prominent apps that have been blocked amid growing tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.
What is the legal basis for India’s action?
This ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Security Measures to Block Access to Information in Public) Rules 2000 where the government said that the applications are engaged in “sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and prejudice of public order” activities. The government also cited complaints of Indian users’ data being transferred abroad without authorization.
A top official said that the government considered all aspects before taking a decision. “These apps have been around for a long time, and have some privacy and security issues with them including the risk of data going out of the country,” the person said.
The Ministry of Information and Technology has said that it “has received numerous complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps, for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India”. Since this “ultimately impacts the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern that requires emergency measures”, it has said.
How will the Chinese apps ban be enforced?
The notification is expected to be followed by instructions to Internet service providers to block these apps. Users are likely to soon see a message saying the restrictions to the apps on the request of the government. However, this will impact apps like TikTok and UC News that need a live feed to serve any purpose, users might still be able to continue using apps that don’t need an active Internet connection to be used. But further downloads of these apps, like CamScanner, are likely to be blocked on Google’s Play Store and App Store.
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Source: Indian Express