No social media company barring Indian social media Koo has implemented the new rules
On the day the Indian government’s new rules for social media come into effect, it has emerged that WhatsApp has gone to Delhi High Court against them, citing violation of privacy.
The rules, the information technology (intermediary guidelines and digital media ethics code rules), 2021 which were notified on February 25 call for new compliances, like traceability of messages to find the first originator of a message.
WhatsApp in its case has highlighted that this means going through messages which will be violative of its end-to-end encryption, which means messages can’t be read except between two users or in a group.
In response to a question, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “Requiring messaging apps to “trace” chats 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 undermines people’s right to privacy.”
“We will also continue to engage with the government of India on practical solutions aimed at keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for the information available to us,” the spokesman added.
No social media company barring Indian social media Koo has implemented these rules.
Non-compliance with the rules could attract criminal charges.
A three month period was given to all social media apps and websites to implement these rules. The new compliances require the appointment of chief compliance officers, resident grievance officer, active monitoring of the harmful content, monthly compliance report, disabling access to objectionable information.
There have been increased run-ins between the Indian government and social media apps like Twitter over data and recent labelling of tweets by members of ruling BJP as “manipulated media”.
Earlier in the week, Delhi Police had gone to the offices of Twitter India to serve them notice over the “toolkit incident” under which the social media giant had labelled the tweets as “manipulated”.