New media rules would break end-to-end encryption, says WhatsApp on suing Indian Govt


New Delhi: Hours after the news broke that WhatsApp has filed a legal complaint in Delhi against the Indian government seeking to block regulations coming into force on Wednesday, the messaging app’s spokesperson said that new media rules would break end-to-end encryption.

In response to WION (part of the Zee Media network of channels) question on it suing Indian government in Delhi HC, WhatsApp spokesperson said, “Requiring messaging apps to “trace” chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people’s right to privacy.”

“We have consistently joined civil society and experts around the world in opposing requirements that would violate the privacy of our users. In the meantime, we will also continue to engage with the Government of India on practical solutions aimed at keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for the information available to us,” the Spokesperson added.

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On February 25, the Centre framed the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, in the exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011, which has come into effect from May 26.

As per the new rules, the social media platforms will have to remove offending content within 36 hours after a government directive or a legal order.

The new rules mandate that the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, must establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving/resolving complaints from the users or victims.

Meanwhile, the instant messaging app has also gone ahead with implementing its controversial user privacy policy from May 15.





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