A digital strike in India to secure Sovereignty
Author: Anjali dixit
30 June 2020 Indian Government imposed a ban approximate 59 China apps popular in Indian youths like Tik Tok (short video platform), UC Browser, Share It (file sharing app), and Cam Scanner, ( i OS and Android devices to be used as image and document scanners). Such type of ban on social media, books or movies should trigger a debate on its legality. India’s social virtual platforms are mostly different from developed countries like UK or USA where freedom of speech is held Supreme. In the Constitution of India ‘freedom of speech’ is given to citizens with limitations and every citizen of India is bound by these limitations. Although such ban on social media platforms could impede foreign direct investment and affect the expansion of the expansion of Indian digital policies, various cyber libertarians have advocated that sovereignty of states must be maintained. Hence, it is the obligation of states to plan national and worldwide law to oversee the internet. Barely any issues in overall relations are as flawed as the use of intensity and the genuine framework that legitimizes a state’s usage of intensity in self-insurance.
Legal basis of ban on apps in India
In India ban on 59 apps has been enforced under the Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which give power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource. Under the Section 69 A of the Information Technology Act,2000 read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009Central Government or any of its officers are specially authorized by it, that when they satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, by its order or they direct any Government agency or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource. This block or ban may for the sake of the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the Indian States , friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offences.
The Ministry of Information and Technology take this step due to the received various complaints about misuse of mobile apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers, which located outside India.
Enforcement of ban on Apps
Notification by the Government of India is strictly followed by some instructions to Indian internet service providers to block these apps and this notice likely display as message, saying access to the apps has been restricted on the request of the government.
List of banned Apps
7.Clash of Kings
8.DU battery saver
31.Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
33.ES File Explorer
34.Viva Video – QU Video Inc
37.New Video Status
40.Cache Cleaner DU App studio
43.Hago Play With New Friends
45.Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
54.QQ Security Center
57.V fly Status Video
Reason for banning apps
Indian Government banned all the above mentioned apps on the base of incident of Galwan Valley. But, there are hidden reason is that they steal the data of Indian by these apps.
International Framework to protect sovereignty
Island of Palmas Case (United States vs. The Netherlands) ICJ said that sovereignty is the primary subject of states and all the relations are depends on this. There are various treaties and conventions related to protection of sovereignty:
- In 2001, Agreement on Cooperation in Combating Offences related to Computer Information came to in effect to harmonize national cybercrime laws.
- The Arab Convention on Combating Information Technology Offences, 2010 main aim was to empower cooperation between states and protect their citizens, property and interests from cybercrime.
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of International Information Security, 2010 is related to information security (INFOSEC) of member states.
- Convention on the Establishment of a Legal Framework Conductive to Cybersecurity in Africa (Draft African Union Convention), 2012 is related to promotes the provision and maintenance of human, financial.
- African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, 2014 is related to create and/or amend national laws to adequately combat cybercrime, harmonize national laws, create mutual legal assistance treaties.
- Model Law on Computer Crime and Cybercrime, 2012 is serves as a guideline for states related to develop substantive and procedural cybercrime laws. It is a model law.
- Directive on Fighting Cybercrime, 2011 is related to criminalize cybercrime in national law and facilitate mutual legal assistance, cooperation, and extradition in cybercrime and cyber security-related matters.
In India such ban is not new in April, 2019 by direction of Madras High Court Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) directed Google and Apple to remove Tiktok App on the ground of its pornography contents. High Court in this case directed the Government to legislate a statute analogous to the Children Online Privacy Protection Act, 1998 & Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rules, 1998to prevent children from becoming cyber victims. On 1 July 2020 Tik tok’s Indian head Nikhil Gandhi issued a public notice on social media that how much Indian population depends on it, but most of advocates denied to represent Tik tok in Supreme Court.
Above mentions conventions and Indian Legislation clearly states that sovereignty of state is most important. India cannot compromise on its integrity, and sovereignty. Various Foreign leaders appreciate the step of Government of India and said that it is important to protect sovereignty and integrity of India. Online networking, substance and gaming applications are looking for an approach to manage elevated administrative examination as courts world over step in to stem the surge of offensive substance on these stages. India being one of the world’s quickest developing web showcases is seeing nothing unique.