Over the previous two days, Indians have been concerned that social networking applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter may be barred from functioning in the nation since these companies failed to comply with new IT guidelines issued in February to control the digital sector.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp filed a court complaint with the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, requesting a delay in the implementation of IT guidelines issued by federal Ministers Ravi Prasad Sharma and Prakash Javedkar on February 25.
WhatsApp expressed worries in its submission about one specific IT law, which states that social networking companies must divulge the creator of a post if the government chooses to trace it. With this measure, the Indian government hopes to reduce the dissemination of bogus news among the country’s more than 700 million social networking app users.
“Requiring messaging applications to ‘track’ chats is comparable to requiring us to preserve a fingerprint of every single message exchanged on WhatsApp, which would destroy end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermine people’s right to privacy,” according to a statement submitted to the Delhi High Court by WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s statement also stated that the firm will “continue to engage with the government of India on practical solutions targeted at keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal demands for the information accessible to” the service, in the hopes of opening up avenues for conversation on the matter with the Indian government.
In addition to mandating social networking applications to divulge the source of harmful information in response to a government request, India’s IT guidelines have instructed Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to employ authorised officials to handle user complaints and liaise with security officials around the clock.
The government’s three-month extension for these platforms to adopt the intermediate IT requirements expired on May 25.
While Facebook’s WhatsApp has filed a suit in the Delhi High Court against the government’s guidelines, Twitter has kept silent on the subject thus far.