WhatsApp Proceed To Court Against New Digital Rules: Report

WhatsApp Proceed To Court Against New Digital Rules: Report

WhatsApp has filed a legal action in the Delhi High Court against the government’s new digital rules that take effect today, saying these would compel it to break privacy protections to users.

“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, which has nearly 400 million users in India, said in a declaration today.

“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,” said a spokesperson of the California-based Facebook unit.

The petition questions the Delhi High Court to declare that one of the new rules is a violation of privacy rights under the constitution of India since it requires social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities want it.

WhatsApp says messages on its platform are end-to-end encrypted, so to comply with the law it would have break encryption for those who send and receive messages.

Platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter were given three months to comply with the new digital rules that require them to appoint a compliance officer in India, set up a grievance response mechanism and take down content within 36 hours of a legal order.

The sites are also required to use automated processes to take down offensive content.

The Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code says “significant social media intermediaries” – sites that host third party information, messages and posts — stand to lose protection from lawsuits and prosecution if they fail to comply. This means they can no longer claim legal immunity from what is posted on their site.

Facebook said it “aims to comply” with the new rules but added that it wants to discuss some “issues which need more engagement”.

Google on Tuesday cited its “long history” of managing content according to local laws to assure the Indian government of its continuing efforts to ensure legal compliance.

Digi Skynet

Digi Skynet

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