Thursday, September 20, 2018

Indian Government Will Ban WhatsApp In Country, If The App Doesn't Find A Way To Trace Hoaxes

Since early August, WhatsApp has been at odds with the Indian government over the issue of fake news and hoaxes on the platform.

whatsapp facebook trickdump

Since then, the issue has been compounded by demands on behalf of the government, which WhatsApp can’t acquiesce.

Aside from other measures, in order to combat violence sparked by incendiary WhatsApps, the government had asked the company to allow the origins of messages on the platform to be tracked. Quite obviously WhatsApp refused, saying it would violate its privacy protocol. And even if the app maker was willing to compromise its end-to-end encryption, changing it would have adverse effects on the security of the entire system.The Indian government isn’t pleased at being denied. The Ministry of Electronics and IT says it plans to send another official letter to WhatsApp, its third since July, reminding the Facebook-owned company it needs to meet requirements or risk being banned from the country. One of these requirements, it says, is to work out a technical solution to allow law enforcement to track the origin of WhatsApps.

WhatsApp has put other preventive measures into place in the meantime, including limiting forwards to five groups at a time in stead of the earlier 250. It’s also visibly marking forwarded messages so it’s easier for recipients to spot, and has even started a radio  public awareness campaign against fake news.