The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, ministry of home affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.
Amid border tension with China, the government on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat, Shareit, UC Browser, etc. This was done by invoking Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, which empowers the government to block the apps which are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, its defence, security of state and public order.
FE had reported in its edition dated June 28 that the government has zeroed down on taking action against Chinese Internet apps as a form of retaliation as it feels that banning other Chinese products like mobile phones or components imported from that country which are used across industrial segments, tend to hurt domestic producers who do not favour such moves in the immediate and short-term.
The ministry of electronics and information technology said in a statement that it has 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 unauthorised 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 statement said.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, ministry of home affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. The statement said that the ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps. 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. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India, the statement said, adding that 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.
Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the government has decided to disallow the usage of certain apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. “This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the statement added.