The Indian government has banned 14 mobile messenger apps due to concerns over national security. The decision was taken after reports suggested that terrorists in Pakistan were using these apps to communicate with their sympathizers and operatives in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apps that have been blocked include Crypviser, Enigma, Safeswiss, Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO, Element, Second line, Zangi, and Threema.
This is not the first time the Indian government has taken such action against mobile apps that pose a threat to national security.
In the past, the government has banned several Chinese apps, alleging that they were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, and public order.
Over the past few years, the Indian government has blocked around 250 Chinese apps, including popular ones like TikTok, Shareit, WeChat, Helo, Likee, UC News, Bigo Live, UC Browser, Xender, Camscanner, and mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire.
In 2022, the government banned another 54 mobile apps linked to China under the emergency provision envisaged in Section 69(A) of the IT Act.
Most of the apps that were banned were either cloned versions or had similar functionality, privacy issues, and security threats similar to the previously blocked around 250 apps in 2020.
The move by the Indian government highlights its growing concerns over national security and the need to protect the privacy and data of its citizens.