WhatsApp has filed a case against the Government of India in the Delhi High Court, requesting that the latest IT rules that go into effect today be halted. According to analysts, the legislation will force the California-based Facebook (FB.O) unit to violate privacy safeguards.
The lawsuit requests that the Delhi High Court rule that one of the new rules violates privacy rights under India’s constitution by requiring social media companies to disclose the “first originator of information” when authorities request it.
It has asked that traceability be declared unconstitutional and that it not be implemented, as well as that criminal responsibility for noncompliance be avoided for its employees.
“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,”WhatsApp Spokesperson
It should be noted that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Instagram may face a ban in India if they do not comply with the Indian government’s latest Intermediary Guidelines. The deadline for accepting the government’s guidance expired on May 25.
However, all of the social media platforms are yet to comply with the government’s latest rules, which were released three months ago.
“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,”WhatsApp Spokesperson
For more than two years, the Union government and WhatsApp have been at odds over tracing the sources of fake/illegal messages. The messaging platform has repeatedly declined to comply with the government’s demand, claiming that the change will jeopardise WhatsApp users’ privacy.