India bans 59 mobile apps over security concern

Publish: 7:25 PM, June 30, 2020 | Update: 7:25:PM, June 30, 2020

NEW DELHI,  – India has banned 59 China linked mobile apps including TikTok, Shareit, WeChat and UC Browser over “national security and privacy concerns”.

The move came on Monday just a week after a deadly scuffle between the Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh on June 15, in which 20 Indian troops were killed and several others were injured.

“The government of India in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since they are engaged in activities, which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of state and public order,” an official handout said last evening.

The decision was taken following recommendation of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the ministry of home affairs for blocking these “malicious” apps, the statement said.

It, however said that the information technology ministry has received many complaints from various sources 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”.

“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,” it added.

The statement said that 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,” it added.

Relations between the two nuclear power nations strained following the death of the Indian troops in hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in mid June 15.