Govt May Force Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter To Reveal Identity Of Users; Lawyers Say This Will Be Devastating
The battle between the Government of India and social media networking platforms such as Whatsapp continues to wage. There are reports that state that a law might be imposed on the social networking apps to reveal the origins of the messages that make the rounds of the internet.
Facebook, Whatsapp, and other social networking platforms will probably be required to show the origin of messages to law enforcement agencies.
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Govt May Force Whatsapp, Facebook To Reveal Users
Two government officials have revealed that a bunch of rules and regulations will be imposed on social media companies and instant messaging apps that will make it compulsory for them to share the senders’ information with law enforcement agencies. These rules will be finalised by the end of this month.
Social media networks that have more than 5 million registered users are entitled to trace and reveal the origin of a message, and the sender of the message when asked by a government agency. The government agency should have an order from a judicial magistrate court or a higher court. Apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, ShareChat and TikTok.
Social Media Regulation Will Be Devastating
The official said, “Any request for traceability can be misused, commercially, politically or technically. Traceability is a privacy violation, so provisions under the Puttaswamy judgment which permit such violation under certain conditions have to be applied, otherwise it won’t stand legal scrutiny.”
As per the rules, intermediaries will have to collect the phone numbers of users and verify them at least once per year. They will be required to remove any content that has children in sexually explicit acts or content that promotes terrorism. They will also be required to publish a transparency report twice per year which will be specific to India.
In the past, the Government has made many attempts to get Whatsapp to reveal the origin of controversial messages that are passed around on the platform. Rumours were spread on the most popular messaging app that led to an unfortunate incident of lynchings in the country. Citing this reason, the Government has been pushing Whatsapp to give them access to the messages and trace their origin. However, Whatsapp has been quite strong on their stand and not complied with the Government’s demands. At one point, Whatsapp has also threatened to leave the country, but the Government has no mind to back off.