WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against the new digital rules laid down by the Government, citing that it will violate users’ privacy. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Government asking for?
It wants Whatsapp and other tech firms to be able to identify the person behind unlawful content on their platform and take it down.
Seems fair, what’s the issue?
This will require Whatsapp to trace all messages exchanged on the platform. They will have to keep a database of who sent what.
This would break their end-to-end encryption and violate user privacy.
But can’t they do the tracing only when something is deemed unlawful?
No, it seems like the encryption will have to be broken to enable this trace, Even though the Government wants to identify only the originator of the unlawful message, that cannot be done in isolation.
Is the tracing fool-proof though?
No, if a user simply copy pastes a message instead of forwarding it, that user will be deemed the “first originator of information” and the trace will reach a dead-end.
What are the other issues?
Firstly, It might lead to higher censoring of content.
Secondly, with the volume of content being exchanged, tech firms will have to rely on AI to identify unlawful content, which might be incorrect many times.
What happens if they aren’t able to do the tracing?
Tech firms might lose their status of being an ‘intermediary’ and be held liable for the content published on their platform.