The Centre has banned 54 Chinese apps posing a threat to India’s security yet again after banning at least 267 Chinese apps in June 2020. Some of the previously banned apps included popular apps like TikTok, Shareit, WeChat and UC Browser among others.

This time the government has banned 54 apps including popular apps like Beauty Camera, Viva video Editor, Applock, and Garena Free Fire. Most of the apps banned this time had relaunched under names after the previous ban.

MHA sources, on Monday, said the IT ministry received a request for the blocking of 54 apps from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the emergency provision envisaged in Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

As per the report shared by the MHA, these apps are either the cloned version or have similar functionality, privacy issues and security threats as alleged in previously blocked 267 apps by the government in 2020.

The government had initially blocked 59 apps on June 29, 2020, followed by 47 related/cloning apps on August 10, 2020, and 118 apps were blocked on September 1, 2020. Another 43 apps were blocked on November 19, 2020.

The sources said the real-time data collected by these apps are being misused and transmitted to servers located in a hostile country. This will enable them to compile huge personal data to mine, collate, analyse and profile by the elements who are hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India and for activities detrimental to national security.

In addition, there are other serious concerns as some of these apps can carry out espionage and surveillance activities via camera/microphone, accessing fine location (GPS) and do malicious network activity similar to previously blocked apps, the sources said.

Here’s the full list of apps banned by the government:

– With inputs from PTI

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