NEW DELHI: China is the world leader of technology hardware and application supply chains. So, what does that mean for India’s security when Chinese manufactured CCTV equipment and drones are used in sensitive areas? And under the cyber surface, what are the data sharing and social influencing issues with video sharing social networking services like TikTok, apps like Helo and video and web conferencing apps like Zoom? Do these Chinese platforms have a hidden agenda? Are their employees in China bound by local law to share data that can be used against individuals and agencies of government? Are Indian laws stringent enough to disable any algorithmic driven attempts at driving discord in the country or censoring issues Beijing doesn’t want highlighted, like the culpability for the coronavirus’ global spread, Tibet, the Dalai Lama, Tiananmen, Hong Kong protests or Uighur indoctrination? Is the massive reach of these applications,running into tens of millions of users, especially with the youth and in rural areas, a security concern as far as national narratives go? Is banning these apps the solution?
These issues on Talking Point, with Ashwani Mahajan, Co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and an Associate Professor at Delhi University, Rajneil Kamath, the publisher of NewsChecker, an independent fact checking initiative in 8 Indian languages. He has also worked with Google India across ad content, operations, sales and public policy. They’re in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.