VideoLAN project developed VLC media player, one of the most popular media players and streaming media servers. As per a report by MediaNama, VLC Media Player has been blocked in India nearly 2 months ago. Details about the ban have not been disclosed by either the company or the Indian government.
The platform was used for cyberattacks by China-backed hacking group Cicada, according to reports. Just a few months ago, security experts discovered that Cicada was using VLC Media Player to deploy a malicious malware loader as part of a long-running cyber attack campaign.
Neither the company nor the Indian government officially announced the ban because it was a soft ban. Some users on Twitter are still discovering the restrictions of the platform. One of the Twitter users by the name Gagandeep Sapra tweeted a screenshot of the VLC website that shows “the website has been blocked as per order Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under IT Act, 2000.”
Videolan project’s website “https://t.co/rPDNPH4QeB” cannot be accessed due to an order issued by @GoI_MeitY. It is inaccessible for all the major ISPs in India including #ACT, #Airtel and V!. #WebsiteBlocking pic.twitter.com/LBKgycuTUo
— sflc.in (@SFLCin) June 2, 2022
Currently, the VLC Media Player website and download link are blocked in the country. It means that no one in the country is able to use the platform for any purpose. It seems that this is the case for users who have the software installed on their computers. It is said that VLC Media Player is blocked on all major ISPs including ACTFibernet, Jio, Vodafone-idea and others.
PUBG Mobile, TikTok, Camscanner, among other Chinese apps, have been blocked by the Indian government in recent weeks. In fact, the PUBG Mobile Indian version dubbed BGMI has also been blocked in India and removed from the Google Play store and Apple App store. It is believed that these platforms were sending user data to China, which is why the government blocked them. Notably, VLC Media Player is not backed by a Chinese company. It is developed by VideoLAN, a Paris-based firm.