FSFTN Demands Proper Analysis and Transparency in Government’s Decision to Ban Apps
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 02/09/2020 has informed that the Government blocks 118 apps. It has stated that the apps have been blocked because they are prejudicial to Sovereignty and Integrity of India, Defense of India, Security of State and Public Order. This the second time in the recent days that the Government has taken steps to Ban apps stating the above reasons. The previous was a Ban of 59 apps. Though there are reasons provided by the Government on the ban, there is a proper lack of analysis and Transparency in the process in which the apps are selected and banned from usage in India.
The Executive Committee of FSFTN has questions and statements regarding the analysis of apps for the Ban and the process involved in it.
- The process involved in selection of apps for the Ban lacks transparency on the whole
- When considering the grounds of Privacy, Data transmission across borders, there are many other similar apps which are a clear to Privacy which has not been considered for the ban both the times. Are there any reason behind it?
- Banning of apps and services leads to concentration of users under a single monopoly such as Google, Facebook, etc. There are services slowly popping up in response to these Ban from these monopolies
- What the Government should be doing is to regulate the functioning of these apps instead of a complete Ban.
- Irrespective of apps that are made in India or in other countries, what we should be concentrating is,
- How the apps is functioning?
- What type of data is collected?
- Is the app, a Free Software? Source code available for the Public?
- Apps that are coming with “Made in India” doesn’t mean are safe and respects Privacy
- Banning of Apps would lead to a rise in Monopoly at National Level such as Jio and all of the country’s data is accumulated under a single monopoly
FSFTN demands that there should be a proper way to analyse the apps, show transparency in the process and suggests that banning is not a complete solution to handle these type of Privacy issues. Instead, the government should intervene and regulate the functioning of the apps, the data that they collect starting from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc. There should be a proper Data Protection Law for the nation to regulate tech companies, keep them in control and abide by the regulations stated by the Government.
Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu