Info-tech

App block: Telegram, not FB or WhatsApp, ‘under MeitY lens’

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on August 08, 2018 Published on August 08, 2018

bl13_tech_telegram.jpg

The Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY) never named WhatsApp and Facebook in its letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) with the purpose of asking the industry to explore if such apps can be blocked.

According to government sources, it was intended only for Telegram app, which has some issues of self-destructing messages from its servers or the app.

“The issue was raised against Telegram only, but other names such as WhatsApp and Facebook came suo motu,” a senior MeitY official told BusinessLine.

The government is exploring options to control the spread of fake messages and as part of this exercise wants to know how these apps function, and if they can help in some way to end the menace.

In a July 18 notice to all major industry stakeholders, the DoT said it wants to explore the option of blocking these apps under the directions of the Cyber Law Division of the MeitY.

“Ministry of Electronics and IT and law enforcement agencies have raised issues around blocking of certain mobile apps such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram to meet requirement under Section 69A of IT Act,” said an industry source quoting the DoT letter.

A DoT source had on Monday said, on condition of anonymity, that there is no move to block any app. The DoT has the powers to block websites /URLs. However, with a lot of unwanted content now finding its way to users through social media platforms, policy-makers are in a quandary on how to deal with it.

Published on August 08, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.