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WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out ‘Restrict Group’ Feature For Admins

WhatsApp rolls out 'Restrict Group' feature for admins: Report

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WhatsApp launches TV campaign in India to fight fake news. Pixabay
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Facebook-owned WhatsApp is rolling out its “Restrict Group” for all iOS, Android and Windows Phone users — a feature that gives the group administrator powers to restrict other members from sending text messages, photographs, videos, GIFs, documents or voice messages in case the admin thinks so.

According to WABetaInfo, a popular fan site that tests new WhatsApp features early, you need to update your WhatsApp version to the 2.18.132 Android update in order to remotely receive the activation of the feature.

The “Restrict Group” feature, first spotted in last December, adds “Privacy settings” in the group.

“All participants can normally edit the group description, icon and subject, but finally the administrator can restrict this feature today, preventing no-administrators to modify the group description,” the website said.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

This action can be managed in the Admin Settings, a new option located in Group Info that’s visible to the administrator only.

In Admin Settings, the administrator can restrict who can change the group info.

Administrators can keep sharing media and chatting as normal as they restrict other members.

Once restricted, other members will simply have to read their messages and will not be able to respond.

Also Read: Amid Data Privacy Scandal, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum Quits Facebook

They will have to use the “Message Admin” button to post a message or share media to the group. The message will need to be approved by the administrator before going through to the rest of the group.

In October, reports said administrators on WhatsApp groups will soon be able to choose if other participants can modify the subject of the group, its icon and its description.

With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages.  IANS

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New Australia Bill Gives Police Power to Spy on WhatsApp Messages

The spying powers are limited to only "serious offences" such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported

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New Australia bill gives police power to spy on WhatsApp messages.

Australia is mulling a strict law that gives enforcement agencies power to track messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer end-to-end encryption and also to force users to open their smartphones when demanded, a media report said.

The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.

In countries like India messages circulated in WhatsApp have been linked to several lynching cases, forcing the government to ask platform to take suitable preventive action.

But the new Australia bill also raises privacy concerns as under the proposed legislation, the Australian government agencies could compel companies to build spyware.

The proposed laws could force companies to remove electronic protections, assist government agencies in accessing material from a suspect’s device, and in getting technical information such as design specifications to help in an investigation, News.com.au reported on Wednesday.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Critics have slammed the bill for being broad in scope, vague and potentially damaging to the security of the global digital economy, the report said, adding that a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has been scrutinising the bill.

The laws will help security agencies nab terrorists, child sex offenders and other serious criminals, Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter was quoted as saying.

Also Read- Rahul Gandhi Accuses Narendra Modi of Questioning Patel’s Vision

About 95 per cent of people currently being surveilled by security agencies are using encrypted messages, he added.

The spying powers are limited to only “serious offences” such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported. (IANS)