?Goodbye To Privacy: WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal Will Have To Stop End-To-End Encryption (But Why?)

Recently we have witnessed WhatsApp introducing its new privacy policy. After the drama that followed post the introduction of privacy policy, it seems now that Indians shall lose more of their privacy.

It has been mandated by the Indian government that all social media apps should find the ‘originator’ of wrongful messages. These messages often lead to heinous crimes such as rape and they are danger to the country’s security and sovereignty. So, how does that affect an average Indian user?

The catch is, to prevent the spread of wrong messages and find out the originators, social media apps will have to do away with the ‘end-to-end encryption’ of messages from their platforms.

According to many critics, this particular government move seriously undermines the freedom and privacy of Indian citizens.

Not After the “Content” But “Originator”

The government is not looking or is interested in the ‘content or chats’ of the users and is looking for the ‘originator’ of wrongful messages said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Electronics and Information Technology Minister.

In this particular case, government is looking for the originator of potential crimes for which the punishment is more than five years.

Sometimes, the message does not originate from within the country. In this case, the person who shares it first will be termed as the originator and shall be liable to punishment if guilty.

Lose The ‘end-to-end encryption’ Technology

For the Indian users, social media platforms will have to lose their ‘end-to-end encryption’ technology to find the originator of the messages.

Enablement of such a rule shall greatly impact the privacy of Indian users said Apar Gupta, Executive Director, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). He added that not only will it undermine the privacy of users but also will increase the scope of cybersecurity threats/crimes.

For this to be done, messaging applications shall have to tweak their operating models as well as tech infrastructure.

Notably, WhatsApp has in the past declined to serve the government with the information about the origination of messages by compromising on its end-to-end encryption technology.

What course of action shall be taken by these social media applications and what users will react about the same will be interesting to see.

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