Govt. of India Bans 59 Apps


Hi Friends,

Why this ban of Apps?

Maybe, they are all not free software, but I still think government should not arbitrarily decide what Apps are allowed and what are not. What do you all think?



Hi Friends,

I am sharing the message from Kamal on the FSFTN mailing list here for those of us here on Discuss.

Dear Hacktivists,

IT Ministry has banned 59 apps under Section 69A of the Information
Technology Act, as per their press release found here - and reported
by AIR here -

Copy of Section 69A as per the IT Act is here -

IT Ministry’s site is unavailable now, probably due to heavy traffic.

Just information for now.



hi Friends,

Again I am sharing the message from Kamal on FSFTN mailing list. The wonderful discussion is live now.

Dear Hacktivists,

The IT Ministry ordered the blocking of 59 apps, RTIs have been filed,
the validity of the order as per Sec 69 of the IT Act has been
questioned.Why only these 59 apps, why not all apps that are harmful
for the privacy of the users. What happens if people use them?

Read our blog post here -

Join the session tomorrow as the panel discuss this complex issue.
Participate in the open Q&A

Time: 10:30AM
Date: 12/07/20 - Sunday
Language: Tamil



Thanks a lot @Delfina for sharing the mails here. I will try to keep the Discuss forum updated as well.


@Delfina, thanks for initiating the discussion here.

As usual we are falling prey for low quality communication problems because of extreme ease ness and pervasive ubiquity the internet messaging offers on the go. While we have started to prefer recorded conversations and forum discussions, we still are in the way to completely acknowledging the preference of choosing discussion forums rather than choosing IM’s.

  1. i hope for those who have participated in the todays panel discussion on : Indian State ban on specific list of apps that are “coincidentally” colored as chinese, would have created a lot of doubts, questions and few answers, and atleast inspire to learn more.

  2. as a movement, both locally and globally, Free Software and Open Hardware communities, have always acknowledged the cultural recognition of information services, as well as the monopolistic surveillance traps that these services offer in return.

  3. We have never criticized applications or services based on national origins or ethnic origins, but from a social and economic discrimination perspective. From commodification perspective, etc…

  4. We have also start to recognize how popular content and social platforms like Youtube, Instagrams, Tiktoks, etc… that are heavily crowded by upper class, upper caste bias and narrations. We know that many statistical inference and predetic analytics using machine learning algorithms are already heavily biased for white male patriarchal narratives.

  5. On one hand, we have never advocated anyone to use TikTok or any such apps for making themselv expressive but have also suggested alternative federated services that have a completely different socially audited design and culture.

  6. While doing so, we do not advocate one to simply leave the current platform services like Whatsapp, telegram, instagram, Tiktok, etc… because as a movement we understood that it is hard for any individual to switch platforms even when alternatives are working fine. Because that would beg for a social isolation and communication. The basic UTILITY value would be compromised, thus making the individual a LUDDITE.

  7. Those who participated in the disucssion today, who had the confusion on why we are criticizing banning of apps that are of chinese orgin, but not seeing it as a little step towards preserving the privacy of “Indian Citizen”, i think i have personal responsibility to restate the reasons more properly.


Morever some of the key points i wish to share with the community on some specific themes are as follows :

  1. On Privacy : We have a tradition of giving important to privacy and its security and surveillance counter part both on global and at local scale. However even those narrations and interpretations we have were completely based on limited understanding. This calls for understanding and educating about privacy from a more broader and deeper perspective
    1.1 For instance, whenever privacy is discussed most of the discussion gets convolunted and minimized within secrecy. But it has to be more elaborately discussed and studied based on intersectional view. That is intersections of Biological & Gender Integrity, Self Exploration, Control over one’s life, Decision Making, Learning, Trying, & Making. It represents a composite of Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose, Accountability, Passion, Responsibility. We can see that all these in one way or other mixes with social bonding as well as potentil to be creative.
    1.2 Right to Life & Privacy needs discussion from Labour Perspective too. It need not be circumscribed within Data alone. As humans we also produce things and services using our Labour. Thus what control a individual or collective of labour (ex: Unions) have over safe gaurding the privacy (read control over their decision and life) ?

  2. On Privacy Law : Coming up with a law where there is notion of privacy and information privacy is lacking is a progress. But coming up with confusion, and half way approach will not be helpful and mostly will lead to “Justice becing delayed” effect. The privacy law has to consider sever aspects such as :
    2.1 : Gender discrimination
    2.2 : Caste & Racial discrimination
    2.3 : Religious biasing & discrimination
    2.4 : Labour & Production process regulation
    2.5 : Media influence on Culture & Education
    2.6 : Educating masses & Expansion of gap between Law & Technology

We have repeatedly seen and learned that there is always a gap/slip between technological advances and the legislative frameworks. Not many questions the reasons behind such a gap. The gap seems to fount from the underlying philosophy and set of principles that have been adapted while designing the legal framework. In this case designing a Privacy bill or law have been made with Consumpiton as primary objective. Thus this limits the protection to citizen from User of Service perspective, while neglecting the Labour who is also a citizen involved in producing the service where have been influenced by the workplace surveillance against the Human Right grounds.

The privacy framework seems to be a gift in time, by liberal advocates and such interpretations have only little benefit for wider masses. That argument will only hold factual for a part of the population who are privileged enough to understand the aspects of Information Economy following the Computerization of all public services, and Datafication of all Social Relationsihps. Remaining all are who does not have the slightest idea of whats going on will have to go through the pain of discrimination.

Thus the whole narration of Privacy has to be viewed from How, Why, to adding Who is the Privacy we are discussing and debating for.

For instance

  • what is the measure of privacy when there is marital rape involved ?
  • what is the measure of privacy when ther is a workplace discrimination & surveillance, Injustice ?
  • what is the measure of privacy when Credit system creates a unending Debt Cycle for Informal Sector ?

Thus the point of discussion is to provoke Questions and not to Seek Answers.

@vms20591 please share your blog post & presentation which made on todays meeting, on Roll of Legislation, and history of Cryptography wrt to Privacy, Social movements, Lobbying and how its Causation & Effects are far reaching beyond the borders. (LADE, EARN IT)

@crakensio please share your presentation which made in todays presentation, on Roll of International Political Scenario, and how it constantly influences mass behaviour as response.


The ban of 59 apps using 69 cannot be seen as just a naitonal response by the government. But have to be evaluated critically how such scenarious can be used for scape goating under the name of respecting Soverignity and Privacy, while at the same time being a bigot proponent of privacy.

This calls for serious attention on how political parties can use the times of social crisis and public health crisis to evade public thought process to unnecessary frictional issues as well to use the situation based on legal doors and paths.


Here is the presentation which I shared on the discussion. It’s a bare-bone without any relevant info. Link