WhatsApp asks the Indian government to protect user privacy

A WhatsApp messaging service is suing the Indian government in the Delhi High Court, challenging new rules that will force it to break its encryption, potentially revealing the identities of the people who had sent and received billions of messages on it. his platform, a WhatsApp spokesman told BuzzFeed News.

“Civil society and technical experts around the world have consistently argued that a need to‘ track ’private messages would break end-to-end encryption and lead to real abuses,” a WhatsApp spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and will continue to do everything we can in India to do so.”

In a statement published Wednesday morning, India’s IT ministry said it would only be asking WhatsApp to disclose who sent a message in cases relating to India’s “sovereignty, integrity and security, inciting public order to a crime in relation to rape, sexually explicit or sexually explicit material for children material abuse ”.

He also noted that rumors and misinformation spreading on WhatsApp had caused it lynx and turned in the past.

“Every operation in India is subject to the law of the land,” the ministry statement added. “WhatsApp refuses to respect the [rules] it is a clear act of [defiance]. “

More than 400 million of the 1.2 billion people who use WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, are from India.

Since 2016, messages and folders sent via WhatsApp have been encrypted, which means that no one, except the sender and the recipient, can see their content. WhatsApp said this is important for people’s privacy. But the governments of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Japan has been pressing apps like WhatsApp to break that encryption, saying he could not follow who sent him which poses a challenge to law enforcement. Digital rights organizations cume Access Now, u Frontier Electronic Foundation, and Mozilla they have supported WhatsApp’s struggle to maintain end-to-end encryption. Reuters first reported on the cause.

India was recently enacted IT rules it requires messaging platforms like WhatsApp to track the content back to the senders. They also add to the Indian government the power to demand platforms that eliminate content that goes against “decency or morality” and threatens “national security” and “public order”. If companies do not comply with the new rules, their employees may face criminal action.

In a blog post on its official website published late Tuesday, WhatsApp said that a “government that chooses to send traceability effectively imposes a new form of mass surveillance.”

He also said that traceability would violate human rights. “Innocent people could be caught in investigations, or even go to prison for sharing content that will become a problem in the eyes of a government even if they don’t mean any harm by sharing it in the first place,” he said. WhatsApp publication. “The threat that everything someone writes can be traced back to them takes away people’s privacy and would have a shocking effect on what people say even in private settings, violating the universally recognized principles of free speech and human rights. “

India is an important and important market for the global technology giants. But in recent times, these companies have come under pressure from an increasingly authoritarian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last month, India blue Twitter, Facebook Instagram, and YouTube to block critical content from the government’s management of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, police in Delhi visited Twitter officials following the platform have labeled some tweets by members of the ruling party as “manipulated media”.

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