Amid the border tensions between India and China, the Indian government has banned 59 mobile apps, terming them prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, defence of the country.
In an official statement, the IT Ministry said 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.
List of 59 apps banned by Government of India "which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. pic.twitter.com/p6T2Tcd5rI— ANI (@ANI) June 29, 2020
Among the banned mobile apps are video-sharing social networking app Tik Tok, UC Browser and file sharing app Shareit, WeChat, etc.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.
"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 said.
The statement added 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".
The clash in Galwan Valley in Ladakh had sparked a debate on the boycott of Chinese products and the apps. People at a few places staged protests, demanding the government to ban the import of Chinese goods.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale had on June 20 called for a ban on TikTok to impact China economically. He had claimed that 15 crore Indians use the Chinese app and that country makes crores in profit from this.
"Ban Chinese video app TikTok in India. 15 crore people of India use TikTok due to which China gets profit of crores. Stop TikTok to impact China economically! I humbly request all Indians to boycott TikTok," Ramdas Athawale had tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)