If you’re in India Please help us, VLC media player’s twitter handle read
A formal announcement has not been issued by the government regarding the supposed ban
According to media reports, VLC was taken down following hackers connected to government officials of the Chinese government were exposed using the program to launch a customized malware loader
Many Internet service providers (ISPs) across India have blocked access to the site of VideoLAN who runs the widely used open-source program VLC video player.
In the meantime it appears that the VideoLAN website remains accessible via proxy websites and the program is working on previously installed devices. The player for multimedia is accessible for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
In response on the story, the Twitter handle of VideoLAN handle posted, “If you are living in India we need your help.”
A formal announcement has not been issued by the government in this respect.
However, different news reports have suggested the possibility that VLC was banned two months ago when hackers (Cicada) connected to Cicada, a group associated with Chinese government were discovered using the program to run a custom malware loader.
The hack was discovered in April, and focused on various agencies of the government as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the three regions of at least.
VLC is a French-based open source program that allows anyone with access to the open domain of making adjustments to the player’s program code.
Sometimes, malicious actors use a backdoor within the program to relay information to hackers.
It is interesting to note that an RTI request made by Delhi-based Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) India in June found that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) did not have details about the ban on VLC website.
The news is happening at a time that it is being ruled by the federal government that they have to ban a variety of social media and websites handles. The the battle royale game that is a hit Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was abruptly removed by Google Play and Apple App Store in response to government directives regarding its connections to China.
The government informed Parliament last week that it had thus far shut down 348 apps that are accused of gathering user data and sending information across borders in an unauthorised way.
Furthermore, authorities have removed 320 mobile applications over the past 26 months due to hyperlinks or coming from China. Additionally it is also reported that the Centre has also blocked all YouTube channel as well as 19 accounts on social networks in 2021, allegedly publishing content that could harm the nation’s sovereignty.