Additional Applications Banned due to Security Concerns

The Government of India, through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (‘MEITY’) has issued a Press Note dated September 2, 2020, blocking access to 118 mobile applications (‘Applications’).[1] As with the previous Press Note issued by MEITY dated June 29, 2020, the Applications have been blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 read with the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009 (‘Blocking Rules’).

MEITY has stated, based on available information, that it believes these Applications are engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defence of India, the security of state and public order. MEITY has also stated that it has received various complaints that the concerned Applications surreptitiously steal and transmit user data, in an unauthorized manner to servers located outside India. MEITY has further received exhaustive recommendations from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs for the blocking of these Applications. A committee set up under the Blocking Rules, will recommend whether these restrictions should continue or be lifted, until which time the Applications will continue to remain blocked.

 

[1] It appears that a significant number of such Applications are operated and/or developed by Chinese companies.

Published In:Inter Alia - Quarterly Edition - September 2020 [ English
Date: September 30, 2020