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Government of India Bans TikTok, More ‘Malicious’ Apps

The Ministry of Information Technology cited these as “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”

Anurag Tagat Jun 29, 2020

As of June 29th, 2020, TikTok is amongst the banned mobile apps in India.

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A new order from the Indian Ministry of Information Technology has ordered a ban on 59 mobile apps, including the widely popular content platform TikTok.

The video sharing and creation platform, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has over two billion downloads, with at least 611 million downloads in India, the highest in the world. The app has also spawned a whole host of creative content makers and social media stars, amongst its nearly 120 million users.

In a press release disseminated earlier today, The Ministry of Information Technology invoked section 69A of the Information Technology Act and cited provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 “in view of the emergent nature of threats” to block TikTok, along with 58 other apps. Other popular apps and games now banned in India include Clash of Kings, CamScanner, WeChat and Shareit.

The order mentions that the ministry has worked to stop the usage of these apps due to “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.” In the wake of recent military activity along the Line of Actual Control between the India-China border, causing several army personnel to be martyred in India as well as casualties on the Chinese side.

The release adds that the ministry of I.T. also received recommendations from cyber crime divisions and the Home Affairs office, plus “concerns from citizens” about data security and privacy issues with “operation of certain apps.”  It adds, “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 […] 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.”

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