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Whatsapp told Delhi High Court that if forced to remove encryption, it will leave India

WhatsApp Challenges New IT Rules in India

  • WhatsApp, owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), is challenging the new Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021 in the Delhi High Court.
  • The main concern for WhatsApp is a rule requiring them to identify the “first originator” of messages, which would break their end-to-end encryption.
  • WhatsApp’s Arguments:
    • Weakening user privacy and violating fundamental rights
    • No precedent for such a rule globally
    • Rule implemented without consultation
    • Violates their policy of not storing user messages
  • Current Encryption:
    • End-to-end encryption keeps messages private between sender and receiver
    • WhatsApp itself cannot access message content
  • Government’s Counter Argument:
    • WhatsApp and Meta cannot claim to protect privacy while monetizing user data

The legalities surrounding this case are complex, with both sides presenting valid arguments. It will be interesting to see the Delhi High Court’s final decision.

WhatsApp: This entire issue is related to the new IT rules. WhatsApp and Facebook have filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against these rules.

WhatsApp: The instant messaging platform WhatsApp has made a significant statement in the Delhi High Court. According to a news agency report, WhatsApp has informed the High Court that if it is compelled to remove encryption, it will cease its operations, meaning it will leave India. The entire matter is connected to the new IT rules. WhatsApp and Facebook have filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging these rules. Meta-owned WhatsApp argues that removing encryption could jeopardize users’ privacy.

As per the report, the case was being heard by the bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora. WhatsApp argued in court that the new IT Rules 2021 weaken users’ privacy and infringe upon their fundamental rights.

WhatsApp further argued that there is no precedent globally where a rule mandates the removal of encryption. WhatsApp stated that the new rule was introduced without its consultation.

Under the new IT rules, social media and messaging platforms can be required to trace users’ chats and identify the initial sender of a message. If WhatsApp is compelled to comply with this, it would need to trace and store all messages from all users, contradicting the company’s policy. WhatsApp’s messaging system operates on end-to-end encryption, ensuring that messages remain private between the sender and recipient. WhatsApp itself does not access the content of messages, ensuring their safety through end-to-end encryption, which prevents unauthorized access.

However, the Central Government has argued in court that WhatsApp and Facebook cannot legally claim to protect users’ privacy because they monetize users’ information for their business and commercial purposes.

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