The digital strike by the government of India, banning Tik Tok, SHAREit, UC Browser and 56 other Chinese apps is a good call. This is more of a privacy-breach concern of our citizens than a response to India-China military clashes. Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, empowers the government to block any content in the interest of the defence of the country. Some of these apps were allegedly exploiting information.
Having said that, app bans are notoriously hard to execute. Usually app firms upload their official versions on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and even after these applications are removed from these platforms, their unofficial versions are available on the web and easily downloadable. So, it would require internet service providers to blacklist every host name and domain name associated with these apps. This poses further security threats and may be exploited by hackers and cyber criminals.
Also, just a simple ban won’t work. Since many of these apps have marked prominence in our routine life, relevant and similarly efficient alternatives are a must. People should be enlightened about substitutes for these applications, which are already available. Besides, our tech industry should also develop unique indigenous replacements, which are user-friendly.
Ravi Teja Kathuripalli Hyderabad
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