WhatsApp asked by govt to fingerprint every message sent on the platform

Marco Green
June 19, 2019

According to a recent report by The Economic Times, WhatsApp was asked to "digitally fingerprint every message sent on its platform without breaking its encryption". Two government officials have said that it should be able to identify where a message has originated and how many people have interacted with it; that is either have read it or have forwarded it. "But, when we see a problematic message, WhatsApp should be able to help us trace the sender", the official added.

Bose, who was the first top-level executive to be hired for the country that accounts for the lion's share of its global user base, joined WhatsApp earlier this year from e-payments startup Ezetap where he served as the co-founder and CEO.

This decision is in line with draft amendments to intermediary guidelines of the Information Technology Act released in December 2018, which requires all internet platforms to ensure traceability of the origin of all content shared through them.

WhatsApp came on the Indian government radar after the misinformation and rumours around child kidnappings on the platform led to a spate of lynchings across India in 2018. Even though WhatsApp has introduced a machine learning system to detect and weed out inauthentic behavior, it's still grappling to contain the problem.

WhatsApp, however, agreeing to all other demands of the Indian government, refuses to track messages on the platform saying it would violate the end to end encryption offered on its platform. The Facebook-owned app has a lot of security features including end-to-end encryption and also doesn't keep the data shared on the platform.

WhatsApp and the Indian government's Invest India program announced the winners of the "Startup India - WhatsApp Grand Challenge".

Ultimately though, nobody would want to use a messaging app that functions as a backdoor for government snooping.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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