Tuesday 11 May 2021
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Army asks soldiers to delete FB, Instagram accounts, uninstall 89 apps

Army till now had allowed its personnel to use Facebook but with restrictions like not posting pictures in uniform or disclosing the location

Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete 89 mobile applications including Facebook, Instagram, PUBG, Zoom, POPXO, Tik Tok, Snapchat, ShareIt and dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. The decision has been taken to curtail leakage of information, as per Indian Army sources.

Some of the 89 banned apps are among those banned by the centre for being engaged in activities prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of India and defence security of the state and public order.

The banned apps include dating apps including Tinder, Bumble Happn, Couch Surfing, Coffee meets Bagel, Hinge and TrulyMadly.

Army personnel have also been asked to delete dating apps such as Tinder, Couch Surfing along with news apps like Daily Hunt in the instructions issued recently, Indian Army Sources said.

The list of apps banned in Indian Army has been divided into different categories including messaging platforms, video hosting apps, content sharing apps, web browsers, video streaming apps, utility apps, gaming apps, e-commerce apps, dating apps, music apps, microblogging apps, news apps, lifestyle apps and antivirus apps.

The Indian government had around 10 days back prohibited 59 Chinese mobile applications, including the famous video-sharing app TikTok, offering a harsh expression on India’s stand against Chinese aggression.

The government banned the apps, terming them prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India.

Some of the 89 apps are among those which the Centre has already banned stating “they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.

The Army in November last year had also directed its personnel to avoid the use of WhatsApp for official work, while asking officers holding “sensitive appointments” to delete their Facebook accounts.

There have been many cases over the last two-three years where Pakistani agents posing as women have “virtually” honey-trapped Indian military personnel into divulging classified information, with even a Group Captain posted at the IAF headquarters in New Delhi falling prey to it in 2018.

The Navy had issued the directive after several sailors from Vizag, Karwar and Vizag and a Mumbai-based hawala operator were arrested for allegedly leaking information to Pakistan after being lured into online relationships.

The Army till now had allowed its personnel to use Facebook but with restrictions like not posting pictures in uniform or disclosing the location of their units. The armed forces, in fact, have court-martialed several officers for posting “classified information” like the location of a battalion or a warship, or their patrolling patterns, on social networking websites, as was earlier reported.

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