India Banned 14 Messenger Apps Allegedly Used For Spreading Terror and Propaganda
Indian intelligence agencies claim that these apps were used by terrorists to spread and receive messages from Pakistan, have no representatives in the country, and tracking activities happening of these apps is difficult.
- The government of India has banned 14 apps in Jammu and Kashmir regions based on inputs received by information received from defence, security, and intelligence agencies.
- "The government found that these apps did not have representatives in India and they could not be contacted for seeking information as mandated by Indian laws."
- Most of these apps are communication platforms that support encrypted messaging and protect privacy of their users. The list includes:
- Element client for the Matrix network
- Second line
- The apps were banned in compliance with Section 69A of India’s IT law. According to a government spokesperson, "Overground workers (people who help militants with logistics, cash or shelter) and terrorists used the listed apps to communicate among themselves."
- The apps will be delisted from Google Play and Apple App Store but the ban cannot prevent users that have already downloaded the app to keep using them.
"Once again we see bureaucrats with a poor understanding of how modern technology works deny ordinary people their right to privacy, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 12)," the Matrix team wrote in a blog post today.
- Government institutions and regulators all over the world often use excuses like the above to restrict access to fundamentally secure, privacy-preserving, and ethically designed communication technologies.