Government of India has blocked 14 messenger mobile applications that were used by terrorists in Pakistan as communication platforms to transmit information to Jammu and Kashmir. The banned messenger applications include Crypviser, Enigma, Safeswiss, Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO, Element, Second line, Zangi and Threema.
Media reports, citing sources, said, it was found that the apps were being used by terrorists in Kashmir to communicate with their supporters and on-ground workers (OGW). With the help of this information, Intelligence agencies operating in the valley made a list of apps that pose a threat to the security of region and do not abide by Indian laws. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was later requested to ban these mobile applications. These apps have been blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000
The action by government against mobile applications that pose a threat to national security is not a recent occurrence. Earlier, the government of India banned numerous Chinese apps, accusing them of being “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.”
During the past few years, India has banned around 250 Chinese apps in total. Since June 2020, more than 200 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, Shareit, WeChat, Helo, Likee, UC News, Bigo Live, UC Browser, Xender, Camscanner, as well as popular mobile games such as PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire, have been banned.