The Ministry of Information Technology has decided to block 59 apps as they are allegedly engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state, and public order.
Here is the full text of the press note issued by the GOI:
For the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.
At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians.
It has been noticed recently that such concerns also pose a threat to the sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, about 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 that requires emergency measures.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the 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. 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 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. These apps are listed in the attached appendix.
This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.