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Indian Army bans personnel from using 89 apps including Facebook, Instagram, ShareChat, Truecaller, and PUBG: Reports

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The Indian Army has directed its personnel to delete at least 89 apps, ranging from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to Tinder, to even blogging sites like Reddit and “private blogs”, news agency ANI reported. Popular gaming apps such as PUBG are also included, and even apps developed by Indian companies, such as ShareChat, is banned. Truecaller has also been banned. The list contains broad categories such as “all Tencent gaming apps”, suggesting that more than 89 apps have been banned.

Interestingly, the 59 ‘Chinese’ apps that were blocked by the Indian government late last month have also been included in the Army’s communication. Army personnel will have to delete these apps by July 15, or else face action, according to the Times of India. The move has reportedly been taken out of security considerations and to plug the leakage of sensitive information.

Unanswered questions: According to an image tweeted by ANI, the order is titled “Social Media Apps: Banned for Usage”, and it isn’t clear what “private blogs” refers to in this case, or how the Army defines what “private blogs” are. It is also unclear whether the website equivalent of some of these apps, such as Facebook, are banned. It is also unclear whether the Army has directed personnel to advise their family members to also not use these apps, as it had following the ban on the 59 ‘Chinese’ apps.

In response to the development, Truecaller, in a statement to MediaNama, said that “it is disappointing and saddening to learn that Truecaller is among the list of 89 apps being banned by the Indian Armed Forces for their personnel”. “We would like to reiterate that Truecaller remains safe to use, both for our citizens and for our esteemed armed forces personnel. We see no reason for Truecaller to be on this list and will investigate the matter further,” it added. It said that its inclusion in this list was “unfair” and “unjust” because it stores all its data in India, and doesn’t sell user data or upload phonebooks, among other things.

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The Indian Navy, last December, had banned the use of Facebook for all its personnel, while also directing them not to carry smart mobile phones into bases and dockyards as well as on board warships. Before that, the Indian Army had directed its personnel to limit their online presence and not forwarding or storing sensitive data on their electronic devices as part of a month-long cyber security exercise.

Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Truecaller, PUBG, ‘private blogs’ among apps banned by the Indian Army

Here is a list of all the 89 ‘apps’ that the Army has banned for its personnel:

Messaging platforms

  • WeChat
  • QQ
  • Kik
  • ooVoo
  • Nimbuzz
  • Helo
  • Qzone
  • Share Chat
  • Viber
  • Line
  • IMO
  • Snow
  • To Tok
  • Hike

Video hosting

  • TikTok
  • Likee
  • Samosa
  • Kwali

Content sharing

  • Shareit
  • Xender
  • Zapya

Web browsers

  • UC Browser
  • UC Browser Mini

Video and live streaming

  • LiveMe
  • BigoLive
  • Zoom
  • Fast Films
  • Vmate
  • Uplive
  • Vigo Video

Utility apps

  • Cam Scanner
  • Beauty Plus
  • Truecaller

Gaming apps

  • PUBG
  • NONO Live
  • Clash of Kings
  • All Tencent gaming apps
  • Mobile Legends

E-Commerce

  • Club Factory
  • AliExpress
  • Chinabrands
  • Gearbest
  • Banggood
  • MiniInTheBox
  • Tiny Deal
  • Dhhgate
  • LightinTheBox
  • DX
  • Eric Dress
  • Zaful
  • Tbdress
  • Modility
  • Rosegal
  • Shein
  • Romwe

Dating apps

  • Tinder
  • TrulyMadly
  • Happn
  • Aisle
  • Coffee Meets Bagel
  • Woo
  • OkCupid
  • Hinge
  • Badoo
  • Azar
  • Bumble
  • Tantan
  • Elite Sinles
  • Tagged
  • Couch Surfing

Antivirus

  • 360 Security

Networking

  • Facebook
  • Baidu
  • Instagram
  • Ello
  • Snapchat

News apps

  • Daily Hunt
  • News Dog

Online book reading apps

  • Pratilipi

Health apps

  • Heal of Y

Lifestyle apps

  • POPXO

Knowledge apps

  • Vokal

Music apps

  • Hungama
  • Songs.pk

Blogging/ Micro blogging

  • Yelp
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • FriendsFeed
  • Private Blogs

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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