India’s most popular media player across multiple platforms, VLC Media Player is reportedly being banned in the country. The VLC Media Player website no longer works in India and users cannot download the program’s exe file (windows executable file) for installation anymore.
“The website has been blocked as per the order of Ministry of Electronics and Information technology under IT Act, 2000” While there is no official information regarding any ban from the government, access to the VLC website has been restricted by major ISPs.
VLC Media Player (the Android app) is still available on the Google Play Store. Users with an Android phone can visit the Google Play Store and install the app for now. There is still no word on whether the mobile version of the popular program will also be affected by the ban.
Why is VLC Media Player being banned?
VLC Media Player was banned five months ago without any notice from either the VideoLan organisation or the government. As the apps continued to work and only access to the website was restricted, the ban went unnoticed.
While the Centre is yet to come out with any official information on the issue, in April, cybersecurity experts warned that a China-based hacker group — Cicada — used VLC Media Player to deliver malware as part of a Chinese government-backed cyberattack campaign. The government has not made public any official report on the alleged attack and claims that the Chinese government was involved.