Govt. Orders Whatsapp To Trace Every Message Via Digital Footprint; Whatsapp’s Reaction is Shocking!
Whatsapp and the Indian government have been trying to get along where data privacy is concerned since a really long time. After Whatsapp denied to give permission to trace messages as ordered by the Government, the Government has come up with a new middle ground for both the entities.
Initially, the Government threatened Whatsapp with a ban, but when Whatsapp responded to that with quitting on India, the Government has devised a new plan of fingerprinting the messages, or some sort of an identifier to trace messages that create controversy.
What is the new request to Whatsapp by the Indian Government? Will Whatsapp heed to this at least? Read on to know more!
Indian Government Requests Digital Fingerprinting
The Government of India has requested Whatsapp to find a way around their system of end-to-end encryption, by digitally fingerprinting each and every message shared on the popular social networking platform.
No, this does not mean actual fingerprints.
The Govt has asked Whatsapp to implement some sort of an identifier that will help in finding the origin of a message without having to read its contents. This identifier should also be able to point out how many people have read the message, and forwarded the message as well.
A Government official spoke on the matter, saying, “It is not acceptable that no one can trace any message. Somebody should be able to trace some messages sometimes. We have reached the limit of anonymity on the internet and that has to go.”
The officials are of the opinion that any ‘problematic message’ should be eligible to be traced its way back to the sender. They feel that it is technically possible.
The Government has been trying to get Whatsapp loosen the noose around the end-to-end encryption ever since there were a series of lynching incidents that happened due to rumours about kidnappings of children, and other such criminal offences.
However, Whatsapp has been doing its bit by spreading awareness about rumours, putting a complete stop to bulk messaging to keep the misinformation from being passed on.
Whatsapp’s Reaction: Will They Refuse Again?
Seems like the Government’s requests have fallen on deaf ears, similar to the previous attempts they have made. Facebook-owned Whatsapp has denied giving any statement about the same. They said, “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”
Apparently, to incorporate the changes as requested by the Government’s request in the app, Whatsapp will have to change the entire structure of the app, which is not a feasible option as suggested by industry experts.
Contradictory to this, in Australia, the police have been legally enabled to trace the sender of any message by nullifying the end-to-end encryption. This did incur the wrath of the technology companies who felt that this compromises public safety and privacy as well.
Which leads us to wonder as to why isn’t Whatsapp permitting to implement the same changes in India.
Will Whatsapp, yet again, deny the Government’s request? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!