FP StaffMay 26, 2021 19:12:38 IST
The Centre on Tuesday issued a clarification on WhatsApp’s lawsuit against the new IT rules saying that it respects the right to privacy and none of the new measures proposed by India will impact the normal functioning of WhatsApp in any manner.
#JUSTIN: Centre says it respects the Right to Privacy& has no intention to violate it when #WhatsApp is asked to disclose the origin of a particular message. This comes after WhatsApp moved the Delhi HC to challenge rule mandating it to identify the first originator of message pic.twitter.com/tPUCv7AE0g
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) May 26, 2021
Earlier on Wednesday, WhatsApp had sued the Indian government to stop what it said were oppressive new internet rules that would require it to make people’s messages “traceable” to outside parties for the first time. The lawsuit, filed by WhatsApp in the Delhi High Court, sought to block the enforceability of the rules that were handed down by the government this year.
“It is in public interest that who started the mischief leading to such crime must be detected and punished. We cannot deny as to how in cases of mob lynching and riots etc repeated WhatsApp messages are circulated and recirculated whose content are already in public domain. Hence the role of who originated is very important,” the statement further read.
Government is committed to ensure the Right of Privacy to all its citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security.- says @rsprasad Details: https://t.co/x45IqRnnVl — PIB_India MeitY (@MeityPib) May 26, 2021
WhatsApp, a service owned by Facebook that sends encrypted messages, claimed in its suit that the rules, which were set to go into effect Wednesday, were unconstitutional.
Suing India’s government is a highly unusual step by WhatsApp, which has rarely engaged with national governments in court. But the service said that making its messages traceable “would severely undermine the privacy of billions of people who communicate digitally” and effectively impair its security.
“Civil society and technical experts around the world have consistently argued that a requirement to ‘trace’ private messages would break end-to-end encryption and lead to real abuse,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said. “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will continue to do all we can within the laws of India to do so.”