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Centre Stays Adamant On Traceability Issue

The Ministry of Electronics & IT contends that traceability has nothing to do with end-to-end encryption and the instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp should come up with a solution to trace the origin of messages which may create a law and order issue.

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The Government of India seems to be in no mood to lower its guard on the traceability issue and has made it clear that social media platforms like WhatsApp must “reengineer their platforms” to help law enforcement agencies trace the origin of messages that are creating any law-and-order issue, according to a report by ET.

Facebook owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has taken the government to court challenging the new Intermediary Guidelines but in a recent meeting with social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has reiterated its stance on the traceability issue by arguing that it has nothing do to with end-to-end encryption and is of absolute necessity for national security and law and order in the country.

Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar had a series of meetings with top technology and Internet firms in the last few weeks. Those he met recently included Facebook India managing director Ajit Mohan and its public policy director, Shivnath Thukral. He also held a virtual interaction with the global and India public policy team at Twitter which included its global policy chief, Vijaya Gadde.

A top government official while talking to ET said that the demand for traceability has nothing to do with breaking encryption and the platforms should come up with a way to go back to a message and trace it if something is illegal. He also said that the government has no issues even if the platform comes up with some different solution to trace the origin of the messages.

WhatsApp’s contention ever since the new rules which came into effect from May has been that the traceability requirement will force the platform to break the end-to-end encryption which in turn will compromise user’s privacy.


Tags assigned to this article:
whatsapp end to end encryption traceability MeitY