WhatsApp to implement traceability of messages and those messages will be sent from India to users in other markets. The same rules would apply to other messaging apps that use encryption such as Signal or Telegram and they have to adhere the rules which the government has set as a criteria for the new IT rules, as notified on February 25. On may 25, WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook moved to Delhi high court to file a case against the new IT rules as it was a threat to social media intermediaries
NEW IT RULES:
The new rules of WhatsApp undermines the privacy and security provided by end to end encryption. It shall enable the identification of the first originator of the information on its resource as may be required by judicial order. Another such problematic rule is traceability.
PROBLEMS OF NEW RULES:
Traceability, is a threat to WhatsApp and its people because in order to trace one message , it has to trace all messages which leads to lack of privacy and WhatsApp are against it. WhatsApp quoted that “traceability violates human rights” and also added “innocent people would get caught up in investigation, or even go to jail, for sharing content that later becomes problematic in the eyes of government ,even if they not mean to harm by sharing the content in the first place”.
Electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar said the government , ” is committed to ensure the right to privacy to all the citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to ensure the law and order and ensure national security”. There was a difference in opinion between the netizens and the government as a result social media is flooded with debate about these new rules and every other individual raising their voices to prove their point.
Union Of India vs Antony Clement Rubin was one of the prominent cases where the questions related to traceability was discussed. Later on , supreme court took over the case but there was no technical solutions on tracing.
Social media such as Facebook, Google and WhatsApp have finally agreed to comply with the Indian government’s new IT rules. Initially Twitter didn’t say anything and failed to comply with the rules. But the government asked social media giants, “stop beating around the bush and comply with laws. Later on twitter also agreed to comply with the rules.
Facebook owned WhatsApp, claimed that the Centre’s rules for intermediaries put end-to-end encryption and its benefits at risk.