In a huge move, the central government on Monday decided to ban 59 mobile applications linked to China on grounds of national security.
A formal order, asking phone companies to block the applications, was issued after weeks of discussions that started much before the Ladakh border standoff with China.
But government officials told Hindustan Times that the deliberations were fast-tracked after June 15 violent scrap between soldiers at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh.
The government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security,” it said in a press release late on Monday.
ShareIT, UC browser and shopping app Clubfactory are among the other prominent apps that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who had expanded his full service to the move to obstruct the China-linked software, signed off on Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla’s recommendation on Saturday.
Considering that the government had determined against only issuing an advisory warning people regarding the dangers related to these apps, the appropriate orders were issued from the IT ministry.
A announcement by the information technology ministry stated a decision was taken to obstruct 59 software”because in light of this information available, they’re engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The apps consist of popular short-video app TikTok, along with other content and utility apps like UC browser, Xender, SHAREit and Clean-master.
Explaining the decision, the IT ministry directed into the excruciating concerns on aspects regarding data protection and protecting the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It’s been noted lately that such issues also pose a threat to sovereignty and safety of the nation.
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The Ministry of Information Technology has received numerous complaints from several sources such as many reports about abuse of several cellular apps on Android and iOS platforms such as stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ information in an unauthorized way to servers that have places outside India.
“The set of the data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to domestic security and defence of India, which finally impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is an issue of very deep and immediate consideration that requires emergency steps,” stated the IT ministry statement.
Indian intelligence agencies were pushing for restrictions on the cellular apps on grounds the apps were created to extract information and park them out the nation where they may be utilized to intrude into the privacy of taxpayers.
Chinese businesses have been suspected of constructing backdoors in their own hardware and applications, 1 reason many governments throughout the globe have been uncomfortable at the possibility of deploying Chinese-made 5G media gear.
Robert O’Brien, the National Security Adviser from the Trump government, had lately detailed how China-linked firms acted as an arm of Beijing’s communist party and attempted to”control ideas” to serve the party’s interests.
The Greek party is”amassing your most romantic information — your words, your activities, your purchases, your whereabouts, your health documents, your social networking articles, your own texts, and mapping your own community of friends, family members, and acquaintances”, ” he explained. This info can be used to sway, to coerce and to blackmail people to state and do things that serve the party’s interests,” O’Brien stated in a recent lecture on China.
O’Brien had talked about another aspect. Where these firms remove information that does not favour China. Like TikTok, ” he explained, reports criticising the party’s policies are routinely deleted or removed.