‘TikTok-ing on the National Security Defence’

Raushan Tara Jaswal


Time is running out on the National Security defence adopted by the Government of India for the prolonged ban on Chinese based Mobile Applications



Introduction


The defence of ‘national security’, while admittedly under the domain of the sovereign function, has recently been over-used and exploited by the present regime, even in open Courts under the garb of ‘secret envelops’. The same reasoning has also been given to prohibit the use of some-what frivolous Chinese based mobile-based applications such as TikTok and PUB-G, for almost one and a half years. Without disregarding the rising tensions between China and India, especially since 2017, from the issue of Doklam to the recent Galwan Valley strife during the coronavirus pandemic, however, the prolonged ban of Chinese Mobile-based applications seems unjust, arbitrary, and excessive. India is trying to navigate a precarious tightrope considering the decline of digital exceptionalism combined with raising concerns of privacy, informed consent, and political intervention by social media platforms. While exploring the different reasons for the permanent ‘ban’, this article seeks to analyze the constitutionality and sustainability of such bans in light of the reasons stated by the Government of India and hopes to suggest alternatives to avoid ‘over-regulation’ and still protect fundamental human rights.


Digital Strike Against China


Tensions between India and China were at an all-time high during the Galwan Valley dispute last year, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead and has been stated to be the most violent c