5 min read.Updated: 02 Sep 2020, 06:12 PM IST Edited By J. Jagannath
PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work and WeChat reading are among the 118 banned mobile apps
In June this year, Indian govt had banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, UC Browser, Weibo
New Delhi: Indian government on Wednesday blocked 118 more mobile applications, including PUBG, in the interest of "sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order" by invoking Section 69 of Information Technology Act.
The banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading, Ludo All Star, Alipay and Tencent Weiyun, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, according to an official statement.
"The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in an official release.
The 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 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. The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. 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.
"On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of above stated Apps raise serious concerns that these Apps collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State.
"In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix," the ministry added.
This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace, the ministry said further.
The latest move from Indian government comes at a time when China allegedly made a transgression attempt near the southern bank of Pangong Tso, which was thwarted by the Indian Army.
In June this year, India banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, UC Browser, Weibo, Baidu Map and Baidu Translate saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.
Here's the complete list of the 118 mobile apps that have been banned today: