The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecom operators in India to block access to 59 apps “under the emergency clause 69A of the IT Act 2000.” The Ministry sent two distinct orders to the all major Internet Service Licensees in the country on Tuesday evening through the Data Services (DS) Cell of the Department of Telecom (DoT), Gadgets 360 has learnt. The list of apps that have been directed to be blocked include TikTok, SHAREit, and UC Browser, among others. The order notably comes just a day after the government officially banned TikTok and other 58 apps in the country on account of national security.
As per the copies of the orders sent to telcos and ISPs seen by Gadgets 360, the DoT issued “directions for blocking” of 24 apps. Those directions were followed by an order stating the blockage of 35 initial apps, bringing the total tally to 59 apps including TikTok, SHAREit, UC Browser, Likee, YouCam Makeup, APUS Browser, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, QQ Player, QQ Security Center, CamScanner, Clean Master, and Xender, among others. Furthermore, the list also includes apps including the Mi Community and Mi Video Call apps that are developed by Xiaomi, the biggest smartphone vendor in the country.
The Ministry notably directed ISPs and telcos to block access to all the listed apps as well as restrict their IP addresses, domains, communication details, and app store listings on Apple App Store or Google Play or both. It also ordered to restrict access to their dedicated websites in the country.
“The compliance be submitted immediately, failing which shall invite initiation of action under Rule 12 of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009,” one of the orders mentioned.
Some of the apps that are directed to be blocked are still accessible in India. However, a person familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360 that the blockage would come in place by all ISPs and telcos later on Wednesday across all the apps.
The list list sent by the DoT’s DS Cell includes all the apps that the government banned on Monday.
TikTok completely went offline on its own, instead of being in the country, just hours after the ban became public. The video sharing app also said in a note that it is in the process of complying with the Government of India’s directive “and also working with the government to better understand the issue and explore a course of action.” However, other apps are yet to announce their move towards the ban.
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