Govt to WhatsApp: Not seeking decryption, but traceability of provocative messages

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |

Updated: November 1, 2018 2:45:40 am

whatsapp, whatsapp india, whatsapp traceability, rs prasad,whatsapp privacy, whatsapp decrypting messages, chris daniels, whatsapp lynching, mob lynching, social media, govt india During the assembly in August, Prasad had informed Daniels to set up an area set-up in India, together with a grievance centre and a facility to retailer monetary knowledge regionally.

Clarifying the Centre’s stand on seeking traceability of WhatsApp messages, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the messaging platform’s CEO Chris Daniels the federal government “does not want WhatsApp to decrypt and read messages” but if the regulation enforcement companies require then WhatsApp ought to have the option to share hint the origin of the message.

“CEO of Whatsapp Chris Daniels and his team met the Union IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today. We discussed about the progress made on the issues which were discussed in the last meeting…WhatsApp heard this request (traceability) from the government and said that we will look into the issue and get back,” an official assertion by the IT ministry famous. This was Daniels’s second assembly with Prasad since August. Prasad additionally suggested that WhatsApp that, in view of the upcoming elections in India, the corporate ought to “work to maintain sanity of the platform”.


“…it is appropriate and desirable that the institutional integrity of this platform is maintained, so that abusers cannot abuse it. They (WhatsApp) have also assured that they will work with my department in preventing circulation of spam farms,” Prasad stated. Over the previous few months, WhatsApp has taken a quantity of steps to meet the federal government’s issues but has not yielded to its greatest demand – figuring out originators of rogue messages.

The first time the federal government demanded traceability from WhatsApp was in July, when the IT ministry despatched two notices to the corporate in a span of 16 days, in mild of killing of a software program engineer in Bidar, Karnataka due to inflammatory messages being circulated on the app . “There is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative/inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies. When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability. If they remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action,” the IT ministry had stated in July.

However, after their August-meeting, the minister informed journalists that the measures taken by WhatsApp on tackling circulation of faux information didn’t meet the federal government’s expectations on ‘traceability’ and attribution of such messages.

During the assembly in August, Prasad had informed Daniels to set up an area set-up in India, together with a grievance centre and a facility to retailer monetary knowledge regionally. “They have assured us that they have appointed a grievance officer for India. I have suggested that we will appreciate if grievance officer is also located in India,” Prasad stated on Wednesday. A WhatsApp spokesperson stated: “We appreciate the opportunity to meet with government leaders, including Minister Prasad who confirmed his support for encryption and the privacy of our users. WhatsApp is deeply committed to serving the people of India and working closely with civil society and government leaders to help address abuse on our platform”. —With PTI

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