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May 28, 2021

WhatsApp sues Indian government

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Getty image: xdadevelopers
Getty image: xdadevelopers

WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit in a Delhi court against the government to quash a provision of a new regulation that mandates companies to divulge the “first originator of information”, arguing in favour of protecting privacy.

WhatsApp says India’s new internet laws are unconstitutional and encroach on people’s privacy. The new measures force WhatsApp to make messages on the platform traceable.

WhatsApp is an American freeware, cross-platform centralized messaging and voice-over-IP service owned by Facebook, Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other content.

WhatsApp said the Indian government’s new regulation exceeds the scope of its rule-making powers under Indian law, adding that it was a well-settled point that only parliament, not the federal government, could undertake essential legislative functions.

India’s government exceeded its legal powers by enacting rules that companies such as WhatsApp say will force them to break end-to-end message encryption, and would engage with the Indian government to find “practical solutions” and protect users.

However, Modi’s government said the rules were as per the law of the land and WhatsApp’s filing was “unfortunate”.

The WhatsApp lawsuit escalates a growing struggle between Modi’s government and tech giants including Facebook, Google’s parent Alphabet and Twitter in one of their key global growth markets.

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