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TikTok, UC Browser among 59 Chinese apps blocked as threat to sovereignty – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A day earlier than the third spherical of talks between Indian and Chinese navy commanders to resolve the border stand-off, the federal government on Monday “blocked” as many as 59 Chinese Apps, together with in style ones such as TikTok, UC Browser, WeChat, Shareit and CamScanner, for “engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The transfer in opposition to the “malicious Apps”, introduced by the info know-how ministry, got here after a number of complaints of stealing of consumer knowledge, which was allegedly being surreptitiously transmitted to servers positioned exterior India, the federal government stated, with out naming China.

Individually, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre within the dwelling ministry additionally advisable that the Apps ought to be blocked.
“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 federal government stated. Sources added that the choice will pinch as it’s going to have an effect on thousands and thousands of {dollars} of income.
The choice to block the Apps was not a whole shock as there had been widespread hypothesis that there could be regulatory motion in opposition to Chinese Apps, with a number of of them accused of transferring consumer knowledge to servers in China. “Modi government has shown its resolve and dexterity to engage China on multiple fronts and hit China where it hurts the most. This is India’s first salvo to China after the border clashes, showing that India has a diverse range of retaliatory options,” an official supply stated. The evaluation is that this can considerably erode the valuation of a number of Chinese firms.
Sources say the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre discovered that knowledge was flowing to China although some of the entities whose Apps have been blocked have been notionally positioned within the US or different international locations such as Singapore. Within the case of TikTok and a few of the opposite Apps, investigations revealed that the digital camera, microphone and full community entry have been configured in such a approach that any knowledge use or espionage couldn’t be verified by the Indian authorities.
“With access to people’s cameras and PCs, these Apps heightened the risk of espionage as they could access other devices and servers that may be linked. Already there were concerns about misuse of TikTok for spreading hate or sexual content, including child porn, but what really led to the decision to block was suspicion on espionage,” a supply stated.
The recent motion opens an all-new chapter within the rising tensions between India and China over the Ladakh border, which is steadily spilling over into the world of enterprise, e-commerce and now cell Apps.
“… there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” the IT ministry stated.
The federal government stated it has acquired representations from numerous residents relating to the safety of their knowledge and threat to privateness relating to operation of sure Apps. “The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy… Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India.”


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