14 Chat Apps Banned by Centre Over National Security Risk in J&K: Report

One of the names in the list is a messenger app developed by a Canada-based tech company.

Tech News
2 min read
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More than a dozen mobile apps have been reportedly banned by the central government, citing threats to India's national security.

In particular: The Centre issued the order to ban the apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, according to a report by News18 on Monday, 1 May. Here's the full list of 14 apps, as per the report:

  1. Crypviser

  2. Enigma

  3. Safeswiss

  4. Wickrme

  5. Mediafire

  6. Briar

  7. BChat

  8. Nandbox

  9. Conion

  10. IMO

  11. Element

  12. Second line

  13. Zangi

  14. Threema

Between the lines: These apps were being used by terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir to spread propaganda and incite youths in the region, News18 reported citing anonymous sources.

  • They were being used to enable communication with the groups' on-ground workers (OGW), the report said.

  • The app ban was reportedly seconded by multiple defence and intelligence agencies.

Why it matters: While the Centre has similarly blocked access to several apps in the past, they were mostly to do with China. This time, however, the reason for the app ban appears to be due to national security threats in the J&K area. Also one of the names in the list, Nandbox, is a messenger app developed by Canada-based tech company.


Zeroing in: These apps were found on mobile devices being used by terrorists killed in operations or arrested OGWs, the report cited an unnamed government official as saying.

  • Representatives of the apps could not be contacted for further information by the Centre, the report said.

  • It also said that none of them had offices in India.

Look back: In March 2023, Economic Times reported that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had identified over 114 apps with links to China, Philippines, and Nigeria to be banned.

  • A total of 232 apps with "links to China" were banned by the Centre in February 2023. Over 138 of them were betting apps while the rest were digital lending apps.

  • In February 2022, 54 additional apps were on the block list

  • Over 219 apps were blocked in 2020 – the year when Indian soldiers clashed with Chinese troops at the border in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang.

(With inputs from News18 and Economic Times.)

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