China, China and more China. Our north-eastern neighbour was on the minds of everyone in Parliament this week. Discussions on technological matters were dominated by China: app bans, Chinese surveillance, concerns about Huawei and ZTE and so on. In all that hullaballoo, one member — Congress's leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury — even called for India to have its own internet firewall as protection against China! Meanwhile, the government made some interesting, albeit confusing moves, with regard to the regulation of streaming services. For all we know, we could very well be barrelling towards a censorship regime for OTT platforms in the near future. Also, in an explosive revelation, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar is reported to have personally intervened to get a web series censored. The ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament is the first one since the Covid-19 pandemic hit India. Here is a summary of all that was, and wasn't, in the Parliament during September 14-19: App bans: What's the government thinking? A little background: Over the past few months, India and China have been involved in a standoff on their border in Ladakh. This has led to the intensification of a general sense of suspicion towards Chinese tech. Subsequently, over three batches, the Indian government has banned 224 Chinese-owned apps, including extremely popular TikTok, PUBG, ShareIt, Camscanner, Shein, Clash of Kings and WeChat citing "national security". A number of MPs asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for more details about the app bans. However,…
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