Blocking of apps like WhatsApp under consideration in India


Following the highly disappointing cases of lynching and other mishaps which took place due to the rumours spread on Whatsapp, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is seeking views and opinions of other telecom operators related to blocking the mobile messaging platform under Section 69A of the IT act.

In fact, the DoT is not just considering blocking WhatsApp but in the radar are other socialising mobile apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Telegram.

After various cases were reported related to mob lynching and killing due to the spread of fake news and rumours, the government had asked the messaging platform to technically tackle this. However, the solutions executed by the popular messaging platform were found deeply dissatisfying by the Indian government. Resultantly, the government warned the platform that it will be considered as the supporter of such fake information spreading if no effective measures are taken.

Witnessing the worsening scenaria around the nation, the DoT is mulling over blocking message sharing mobile apps and in this regards, it is aspiring views and opinions from the telecom operators of India. These operators include Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and a few others.

As for the IT act Section 69A, the law permits the authority or an appointed individual to block any information on the Internet which hampers the sovereignty, integrity, defence, security, friendly foreign-relations or public order of the nation.