India’s government wants to oblige WhatsApp to identify and track the originator of private messages. The intelligence service is now taking legal action against this.
WhatsApp is taking legal action against new rules by the Indian government that oblige the intelligence service to identify and prosecute the originator of private chat messages. The rules should apply from Wednesday. WhatsApp, which belongs to the Facebook group, filed the case in a court in the capital New Delhi on Tuesday, as the company believes the rules violate the right to privacy granted in the Indian constitution.
“Civil society and technical experts around the world have repeatedly argued that a requirement to” track “private messages would break the end-to-end encryption and lead to real abuse,” said a WhatsApp spokeswoman for the Germans Press agency. WhatsApp repeatedly emphasizes that it has no access to user data and does not save messages between users. “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will continue to do everything we can to do so within the laws of India,” said the spokeswoman.
The Indian government has been trying to monitor expressions of opinion on the Internet for a long time. According to the new rules, social networks with more than five million users must be able to identify the originator of messages that distribute content that could harm the interests of the country. Recently, the government had also instructed networks like Facebook and Twitter to delete entries that criticized the government’s corona management – on the grounds that they could lead to panic and impede corona management. Social networks have responded to a number of such requests. Affected entries could still be seen outside of India.
India, with its more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, is an important market for WhatsApp and other social networks and messenger platforms.