The Indian government reacts to WhatsApp, stating that it respects people’s right to privacy while still being accountable for national security

The Indian government reacts to WhatsApp, stating that it respects people's right to privacy while still being accountable for national security

WhatsApp recently filed a lawsuit against the Indian government over new IT regulations, and the government has now received a response from WhatsApp. The government’s reaction came in the form of a press release, in which the government stated that it has no intention of compromising the privacy of WhatsApp users, even when it requests WhatsApp to track out the message’s author.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), such requests for WhatsApp to reveal the origin of a message are only necessary when the communication is needed for the prevention, investigation, or punishment of particularly severe crimes.

 According to the Ministry, Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that the “Government of India is dedicated to ensuring the Right of Privacy to all its citizens, but it is also the government’s obligation to preserve peace and order and guarantee national security.”

“It is in the public interest to find out who initiated the mischief that led to such a crime and punish them. We can’t dispute that in situations of mob lynching and riots, for example, repeated WhatsApp messages are distributed and recirculated with content that is already public “, please read MeitY’s statement.

 “Asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp 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 undermine people’s right to privacy,” WhatsApp said in an earlier statement.

“At one end, WhatsApp seeks to mandate a privacy policy wherein it will share the data of all its users with its parent company, Facebook, for marketing and advertising purposes,” the Ministry added, referring to another old but ongoing spat between the social media company and the Indian government.

The government also makes it clear that tracing the originating source of information is a need for any key social media middleman, regardless of how they operate.

WhatsApp’s parent firm, Facebook, said on Tuesday that it is working with the government to resolve some of the difficulties and that it intends to follow the new IT laws.

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