A WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the messaging service WhatsApp is suing the Indian government in the Delhi High Court, defying new rules that would force it to crack its encryption and potentially reveal the identities of the people who sent and received billions of messages on its platform. .
A WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: “Civil society and technical experts around the world have consistently argued that the requirement to ‘track’ private messages would break end-to-end encryption and lead to real abuse.” “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will continue to do everything we can within the laws of India to do so.”
at statement India’s Ministry of Information Technology, published on Wednesday morning, said it would only ask WhatsApp to disclose who sent the message in cases related to “India’s sovereignty, safety and security, inciting public order to a crime related to rape, sexually explicit material or child sex.” Abuse. “
She also pointed to the spread of rumors and misinformation via the WhatsApp application Extrajudicial executions and riots In the past.
The ministry statement added that “any operations that take place in India are subject to the law of the land.” WhatsApp refused to comply with [rules] It is a clear verb [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 files sent through WhatsApp have been encrypted, which means that no one can see their contents except for the sender and the recipient. WhatsApp has always said this is important to people’s privacy. But governments around the world, including United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Japan It has been Pressing apps like WhatsApp to crack this encryption, Arguing that not being able to track who sent poses a challenge to law enforcement. Digital rights organizations such as Access now, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, And the Mozilla Supported WhatsApp battle to maintain perfect encryption between parties. Reuters I mentioned it first About the suit.
Age India recently It rules Messaging platforms like WhatsApp require you to track content to senders. It also gives the Government of India the power to demand platforms that remove content that is contrary to “decency or morals” and threatens “national security” and “public order”. If companies do not comply with the new rules, their employees may face criminal proceedings.
at Blog post On its official website published late Tuesday evening, WhatsApp said, “The government that chooses to enforce traceability is actually imposing a new form of mass surveillance.”
She also said that traceability violates human rights. “Innocent people can get stuck in investigations, or even go to jail to share content that later becomes a problem for the government, even if they don’t mean any harm by participating in the first place,” the WhatsApp post said. “A threat that anyone writes that can be traced back to robs people’s privacy and will have a chilling effect on what people say even in private settings, violating the principles of freedom of expression and universally recognized human rights.”
India is a large and important market for the global tech giants. But recently, these companies have faced pressure from an increasingly authoritarian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last month, India Command Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to block content critical of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, the police were in Delhi Visit Twitter offices after the platform described some of the tweets posted by members of the ruling party as “manipulated media.”