WhatsApp Sues India Government for New IT Rules

WhatsApp says new media rules mean end to privacy.

WhatsApp has filed a legal complaint in Delhi against the Indian government seeking to block regulations coming into force on Wednesday (May 26).  The Rules require  WhatsApp to “trace” the origin of particular messages sent on the service. The case was filed in the Delhi High Court on 25 May.

Regarding the matter WhatsApp spokesperson says-

“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."

 New law requires WhatsApp to unmask only people credibly accused of wrongdoing, the company says it cannot do that alone in practice. Because messages are end-to-end encrypted, to comply with the law WhatsApp says it would have to break encryption for receivers, as well as "originators", of messages.

In the meantime, WhatsApp 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 executive added.

The new rules are requirements that big social media firms appoint Indian citizens to key compliance roles, remove content within 36 hours of a legal order, and set up a mechanism to respond to complaints. They must also use automated processes to take down pornography.