Indian intelligence agencies have asked the union government to block or advise people against using 52 mobile applications with links to China.
Indian intelligence agencies have asked the union government to block or advise people against using 52 mobile applications with links to China, the Hindustan Times reported, citing people aware of the development. The communication comes over concerns that the applications are extracting large amounts of user data outside of India.
The list includes some popular ones such as social media app TikTok and video conferencing platform Zoom, which has become popular in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent restrictions on movement of people. Incidentally, the government had issued an advisory against the use of Zoom in April.
Other apps on the censure list include SHAREit, UC browser and Clean Master, the report added.
“The discussions on the recommendations are continuing,” the HT report cited an official as saying. The official explained that the risks posed by each application in question will be examined.
The report added that the security agencies’ recommendation has been supported by the National Security Council Secretariat.
There have been widespread concerns among the western security establishments about China-linked hardware and software with regards to possible malicious use of user data. The United States and some European countries have expressed concerns about the Chinese government’s involvement in the development of the 5G technology, leading to censure of Chinese technology major Huawei.
Meanwhile in India, Remove China Apps, an app that purported to remove China-linked apps from Android phones, gained popularity before being pulled from the Google Play Store. Its popularity surged in the wake of the heightened border tensions between India and China.
Further, Mitron, billed as India’s version of TikTok, was restored after being axed from the Play Store for violation of Google rules.
First Published: IST