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WhatsApp has sued the Indian government over privacy issues: report | Business and Economic News


WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in Delhi in an attempt to block the entry into force on Wednesday, experts say the California Facebook unit would be forced to violate privacy protections.

People who know the case described to Reuters have asked the Delhi High Court to state that one of the new rules is a violation of the privacy rights of the Indian constitution, as social media companies must identify the “primary source of information”. the authorities so request.

Although the law requires that allegations of wrongdoing to WhatsApp be reliably masked only, the company says in practice it cannot do just that. Since the messages are end-to-end encrypted, WhatsApp says it would break the encryption of message recipients as well as “creators” to comply with the law.

Reuters reported for the first time on Wednesday that it could not independently confirm that WhatsApp had filed a lawsuit in court, which has nearly 400 million users in India, nor when the court can review it. Those who knew the subject wanted to identify it because of their sensitivity to the subject.

A WhatsApp spokesperson declined to comment.

A government official said WhatsApp could find a way to track the creators of the misinformation, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s long-standing attitude to the government and the company has not been asked to break the encryption.

The Indian Ministry of Technology has not responded to the request for comment.

Tensions increase

Democracy is exacerbating the growing struggle between the Midi government and technology giants, including Facebook, Google’s parent Alphabet and Twitter in one of their most important global growth markets.

Tensions rose this week after police visited Twitter offices. The micro-blogging service labeled messages from the main party and a spokesperson for others that it contained “manipulated media,” saying that fake content was included.

The government has pressured technology companies not only to describe what they have described as misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic that is strengthening India, but also to remove some criticism of the government’s response to the crisis, which demands thousands of lives every day.

The companies ’response to the new rules has been hotly speculated since they were introduced in February, 90 days before they were scheduled to take effect.

Through the Code of Mediation Guidelines and Media Ethics published by the Indian Ministry of Technology, they are designated as “significant social media intermediaries” who, if they do not adhere to this code, lose protection against litigation and criminal proceedings.

WhatsApp, its main parent and technology rivals have made huge investments in India. But company officials are privately concerned that regulations made by the Modi government with increasing force could jeopardize those opportunities.

New rules

The new rules include requirements for large social media companies to be appointed to key functions performed by Indian citizens in order to remove the content 36 hours from the legal order and establish a mechanism to respond to complaints. They should also use automated processes to get rid of pornography.

Facebook has said it agrees with most of the provisions, but still wants to negotiate some aspects. Twitter, which has suffered the most fires for not receiving messages from government critics, has refused.

Some in the industry expect a delay in introducing new rules while such inconveniences are heard.

WhatsApp’s allegations refer to a 2017 ruling by the Supreme Court of India in a case known as the Puttaswamy ruling that protects privacy, acquaintances said.

The Court then held that privacy had to be maintained except in cases where legality, necessity and proportionality were against it. WhatsApp believes the law fails these three tests, starting with a lack of explicit parliamentary support.

Experts have sided with WhatsApp’s arguments.

“New traceability and filtering requirements could put an end to India’s extreme encryption,” Riana Pfefferkorn, a student at the Stanford Internet Observatory, wrote in March.

Other courts against the new rules are already in Delhi and elsewhere.

On the one hand, journalists advocate extending technological regulations to digital publishers, as well as establishing standards of dignity and taste that are not supported by the underlying law.


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