In an extraordinary move, the Central Government on Monday has decided to block 59 mobile apps, mostly Chinese, including Tik Tok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Cam Scanner, Xender etc.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has decided to invoked powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 to block these apps, citing threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
This decision comes in the light of the India-China stand off at Galwan valley, Ladakh.
"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.
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", said the Ministry in a press release.
The Ministry added that it 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.
"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 said.
"The Ministry of Information Technology 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 unauthorized 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", it said.
The list of blocked apps :