Faizel Patel – 02/07/2020
A tech policy and media professional says the Indian government has blocked mobile apps and not just removed them from the app stores.
India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, including the TikTok and the WeChat platforms has left millions of Indian users surprised and disappointed.
The government says the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Prasanto K Roy says India issued a press release about banning the apps without warning.
“It was possible that the internet service providers and telco’s has been informed of it earlier because very soon after that the apps stopped working. Within the next morning, the apps were removed from the Play Store and App Store. So a lot of these policy decisions by and large we are now used to are no being announced in advance, they are just done.”
Roy says while the government feels the apps were allegedly being used to spy on India, there were other motives for banning the apps including hitting out at China for intruding onto Indian Territory.
“The government was looking at tightening the data privacy norms for quite a while. But there were other ways to do it rather than an abrupt ban and so therefore the ban seem to be more geopolitical and border conflict than purely about data concerns.”
Roy says that at least twelve of the fifty-nine apps including TikTok banned by India were extremely popular with millions of users.
Listen to the interview with Prasanto K Roy