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Meity blocks 348 apps identified by Home Ministry

The government has identified and blocked 348 mobile applications developed by various countries, including China, for allegedly collecting user information for profiling citizens and transmitting it overseas in an unauthorised manner.

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar made the declaration in the Lok Sabha in response to a question by BJP’s Rodmal Nagar.

“These 348 mobile applications were collecting users’ information and transmitting it in an unauthorised manner to servers located outside the country for profiling,” Chandrasekhar said.

“Based on the request from the MHA, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has blocked those 348 mobile applications since such data transmissions infringes the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the state,” he said.

On being asked whether all these apps are developed by China, Chandrasekhar said, “These apps are developed by various countries including China.”

This comes a few days after Google suspended Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular battle royale game from South Korea’s gaming giant Krafton, from its Play Store. Google had said that it had received an order from the government in this regard and thus blocked access to the app.

In September 2020, Krafton’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was banned in along with 117 other China-linked apps, citing data security concerns.

Earlier in the year, it was also reported that battle royale game Free Fire was banned along with 53 other China-linked apps under section 69A of the Information Technology Act on February 14, citing security concerns. PTI

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