Indians Bans Free Fire And Other 53 Apps Due To Security Reasons

On February 14, the government of India issued an order to ban another 54 mobile apps linked to China under the emergency provision envisaged in Section 69(A) of the IT Act. As per reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a request to the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the apps.

Some of the apps that have been included in the list are AliSuppliers and Alibaba Workbench, CamCard — Business Card Reader, Chinese Social, WeDate, TrulyChinese, Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite, Viva Video Editor, Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD, Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Chess, Onmyoji Arena, AppLock, Dual Space Lite, Equalizer & Bass Booster, and CamCard for SalesForce Ent. The majority of these apps were either cloned versions or had similar functionality, privacy issues and security threats similar to the previously blocked 267 apps in 2020.

List of 54 Banned Apps

In a statement, the IT ministry said these apps allegedly obtain critical permissions and collect sensitive user information that is a threat the security and privacy. It said, “These collected real-time data 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.”

The ministry further added there were security concerns associated with these apps that they could carry out surveillance activities and espionage by accessing camera/mic, GPS location and could indulge in malicious network activity. Similar threats were posed by the previously banned apps. The ministry said, “These apps were allegedly engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country also posing a serious threat to the security of the state and defence of India.”

Sea -- founded in Singapore by Chinese-born founders who became Singaporean citizens -- has been focusing on building a gaming and e-commerce business globally with backing from Tencent, the largest shareholder of the company. Sea did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ban on the game Free Fire - Illuminate.

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