India Banned Chinese Apps
India Banned many Chinese Apps for the "security" of the nation, but is that good? If it is, is that enough?
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Disclaimer: This blog was written in frustration, the tone and content might offend some of you, but I guarantee you that it is NOT NSFW. But it's a bit political. I tried to avoid as many accusations as possible here.
It's rather inconvenient when something that you use every day stops working
all of a sudden. It's even more inconvenient when you know that it may never
work again for you.
Then you start finding alternatives, hoping that you will never have to switch from the new thing that you found.
Recently a handful of apps banned in India for “being engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the nation“
Banned apps list
- UC Browser
- Baidu map
- Clash of Kings
- DU battery saver
- YouCam makeup
- Mi Community
- CM Browers
- Virus Cleaner
- APUS Browser
- Club Factory
- Beutry Plus
- UC News
- QQ Mail
- QQ Music
- QQ Newsfeed
- Bigo Live
- Mail Master
- Parallel Space
- Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
- ES File Explorer
- Viva Video – QU Video Inc
- Vigo Video
- New Video Status
- DU Recorder
- Vault- Hide
- Cache Cleaner DU App studio
- DU Cleaner
- DU Browser
- Hago Play With New Friends
- Cam Scanner
- Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
- Wonder Camera
- Photo Wonder
- QQ Player
- We Meet
- Sweet Selfie
- Baidu Translate
- QQ International
- QQ Security Center
- QQ Launcher
- U Video
- V fly Status Video
- Mobile Legends
- DU Privacy
From this list of apps that were banned, I have used ES File explorer in the past, also played Mobile Legends, and have tried Bigo Live for a couple of days and uninstalled it.
When I say past, I mean my young self who thought everything that's famous
is cool and trendy!
ES wasn't bad before it got bought by another money hungry corporate and filled it with advertisements, Mobile legends was a cool game for time pass until levelling up gets harder without purchasing stuff, and
was an eyesore.
I am glad for these apps to be removed from the public use, but they were banned for the wrong reason, a political move against China.
But, there are tons more of apps in the store which are even more troublesome. Which tracks your daily life activities:
- what food you eat?
- what do you search?
- where do you go?
- who you frequently contact with?
- is your menstrual cycle irregular?
- do you have depression?
- what diseases do you have?
- what color are you?, what caste are you?
- what's your address?, who is in your family?
(I stopped adding links after a while, you can search them on your own and update this list, it's not hard to find news on these).
- what does your family do?
- when do you visit them?
- where do they live?
- what did you study?
- what do you watch and listen to?
- who is your crush?
- who is your sister?
- where does she stay?
- what does she want to buy for you on your birthday?
- whom do you hate?
- what political stands do you have?
- DO YOU YELL A LOT in comments for no reason?
These and more are the data being collected by the apps that you use daily,
every service that you use has answer for at least one of these questions
All of it combined can provide a detailed profile of you that even you didn't know of. And all of them are connected in ways that a normal user is not aware or even thought of.
Don't take my word for it, install a script blocker like noscript, go to your favorite websites, even banking websites and check the scripts being blocked (and allowed). The horrible trio (Google, Facebook, and Amazon) analytics can be found everywhere! And there will be more unnecessory ads+tracking embedded to most of them.
Making a website with VanilaJS is not hard (look at this website source code for example). Web development is my primary job, I do a good enough job of it without using all the bloted non-free scripts that consumes your bandwidth and privacy.
If I say “privacy“ most people would say
“who cares? They will just use it for advertisements, I'm fine with those,
and I can just block them with yada yada yada“,
you forget that when a company sell your info, it can also go to anyone, including their government and it could also be yours.
Now people are worried when a Chinese app has a similar sentence in their policy. But isn't it the same for almost every other service that you use?
I am attempting to put and end to this, and there are millions of others with the
same thought process as mine.
To avoid a privacy leak of you, your family, your neighborhood, AND your nation, what you can do is very simple.
You don't have to rebel against anything. You don't have to go on a riot and throw
everything into flames, you don't have to blame the current or previous government.
Before installing anything to your system, before browsing your favorite shopping site, go to https://alternativeto.net, search for that privacy invasive program, filter it by open-source and the device that you use. Free and Open source software (Free as in freedom) will not be able to collect your data.
Because the source code is public, and anyone can verify any malicious code going into it. I like this phrase “Dance like no one's watching. Encrypt like everyone is!“, which can ONLY be achieved by a Free and Open-Source Software.
There are other sites like
privacyguides.org which is made by the community for the community for enhanced
privacy of all.
Once you start using them, spread the word like the same way you used to. you might find your life to be a bit peaceful one you get rid of proprietary software and services.
- Be safe.