Lawstreet Journal

WhatsApp sues the Indian government, claiming that new IT laws would put an end to privacy

Lawstreet Journal 27 May 2021 5:18pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Business WhatsApp sues the Indian government, claiming that new IT laws would put an end to privacy

According to reports, WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in Delhi, arguing that legislation slated to take effect on Wednesday ( May 26, 2021) will force Facebook's messaging app to break privacy standards.

It urges the Delhi High Court to declare that one of the new IT laws violates India's constitution by compelling social media platforms to identify the "original producer of data" when authorities demand it.

The WhatsApp case adds fuel to a simmering conflict between Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and Internet behemoths like Facebook, Alphabet's parent firm Alphabet, and Twitter. Tensions erupted this week when authorities raided Twitter's offices. According to the microblogging service, posts from a spokeswoman for India's governing party and others were labelled as containing "manipulated media" with counterfeit content inserted.

New Delhi has also pressed internet companies to remove "misinformation" on the COVID-19 outbreak that is ravaging India, as well as some criticism of the government's response to the crisis, which is claiming the lives of thousands of people every day.

While the new law requires WhatsApp, which has a half-billion Indian users, to identify persons who have been credibly accused of wrongdoing, it also stipulates that it cannot do so on its own.

Because WhatsApp chats are encrypted end-to-end, it would have to breach encryption for both receivers and senders to comply with the new legislation, according to the company. Due to the sensitivity of the matter, sources familiar with the complaint declined to be identified.

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Tagged: WhatsApp  
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