Saturday November 23, 2019
Home India WhatsApp Main...

WhatsApp Maintains its Stand on India’s Message Traceability Call

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product

0
//
WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it has nothing fresh to add to the Indian government’s demand to trace the origin of messages on its platform as it “undermined the privacy of the people”.

Reacting to an ET story that claimed government officials have asked WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint every message, without breaking its end-to-end encryption, so that the origin of an inauthentic or fake message can be traced, WhatsApp told IANS: “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”

Last December, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology proposed changes to Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

The proposed regulations require a company to “enable tracing out of originators of information on its platform as required by legally authorised government agencies”.

The end-to-end encryption feature in WhatsApp makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.

The mobile messaging platform has already called the proposed changes “overbroad”, saying it undermined the privacy of the people.

whatsapp business app
FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine the end-to-end encryption, and its private nature, leading to possibilities of being misused. Our focus is to improve WhatsApp, and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe,” a company spokesperson had earlier said.

A top company executive in February stressed that some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form.

“Of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the emphasis on traceability of messages,” Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications, had told IANS.

Also Read- Apple Adds PiP Mode on Apple TV’s Operating System tvOS 13

The Facebook-owned messaging app offers end-to-end encryption by default which means only the sender and the recipient can see the texts in circulation – not even WhatsApp.

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product.

With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users. (IANS)

Next Story

Why Is Telegram Founder Durov Asking People To Delete Whatsapp?

Here's why Telegram founder Pavel Durov is asking people to delete WhatsApp from their mobiles

0
Telegram Founder Pavel Durov
Telegram Founder Pavel Durov asks people to delete WhatsApp. Wikimedia Commons

Telegram founder Parel Durov, in his post on the platform, has urged people to delete WhatsApp unless they are “okay with surveillance”, media reports said.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has been mired by a snooping row, is used as a Trojan horse to spy on the users’ non-WhatsApp content that includes images stored on their smartphones, according to Durov.

“Unless you are cool with all of your photos and messages becoming public one day, you should delete WhatsApp from your phone,” Durov said on his Telegram channel to his 335,000 followers, Forbes reported on Thursday.

WhatsApp has a huge global user base of 1.6 billion users while Telegram has 200 million users globally.

Telegram and WhatsApp users
WhatsApp has a huge global user base of 1.6 billion users while Telegram has 200 million users globally. Pixabay

Earlier this week, WhatsApp had urged users to update to the latest version of after a second security flaw was discovered.

The latest WhatsApp security vulnerability gives hackers a cyber-attack vector. If someone has sent you an MP4 file on WhatsApp, you should guard against downloading it as hackers may use a critical vulnerability in the Facebook-owned app to execute snooping attack on both Android and iOS devices.

Also Read- FB, Instagram on Google Play Store Vulnerable: Check Point

“The vulnerability is classified as ‘Critical’ severity that affected an unknown code block of the component MP4 File Handler in WhatsApp,” reported gbhackers.com.

Facebook had issued an advisory, saying “A stack-based buffer overflow could be triggered in WhatsApp by sending a specially crafted MP4 file to a WhatsApp user.” (IANS)