WhatsApp has sued the Indian government over a new one internet law to force it to make users’ messages “traceable,” the New York Times reported. The lawsuit seeks to obstruct the enforcement of the rules on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. The law was passed earlier this year, but now the deadline to comply with social media companies.
“Civil society and technical experts around the world have often argued that a need to‘ track ’private messages would break the ultimate encryption and lead to real abuse,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp on TODAY. “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will continue to do everything we can within the laws of India to do so.”
Social society and technical experts around the world have often argued that a necessary ‘tracking’ of private messages would break the ultimate encryption and lead to real abuse.
India is WhatsApp’s largest market and parent Facebook rarely goes to government courts, so filing a lawsuit is an unusually aggressive action by the company. For example last year, for example, the WSJ reports that Facebook refuses to remove a post from a ruling political party even if it may have violated its own hate guidelines.
WhatsApp has sold itself in India as a privacy-based company, but it is fighting a separate legal case accusing it of violating users ’privacy rights. In that action, the government sued WhatsApp to force it to withdraw a policy that allowed it to share data including locations and phone numbers on Facebook and apps including Instagram and Messenger.
Last year, India banned more than 200 Chinese apps including TikTok citing national security fears. Anonymous officials with multiple firms were told TechCrunch that they have no difficulty fighting bans because national cases involving national security are almost impossible to win.
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