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Ban on Chinese Mobile apps

Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security.

Ban on Chinese Mobile apps:


What?

118 mobile apps blocked.

By?

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

How?

By 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.

Why?

In view of the emergent nature of threats. It has been said that these apps are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

Why this was necessary? (Arguments by the government):

  • Government had 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.

Background:

This was the goverment’s third round of bans. Besides, the Centre’s latest move comes in the backdrop of the tension between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has, for over four months now, been trying to shift its boundary with India in Ladakh.
Section 69A of IT act:
Section 69A of the IT Act, empowers the Central Government to order that access to certain websites and computer resources be blocked in the interest of the defense of the country, its sovereignty and integrity, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of an offence.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 69A of the IT Act is related to?
  2. Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre- administrative setup and functions.
  3. What is Line of Actual Control.
  4. LAC vs LOC.
  5. Where Chushul Valley?

Mains Link:

The Centre’s recent move to block 59 Chinese apps has brought to the fore the inherently tricky ‘national security versus digital rights’ question. How do you view this? Give your opinion.

Sources: pib.