WhatsApp sues Indian government over ‘mass surveillance’ internet laws

Stopspying

Level 14
Thread author
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Jan 21, 2018
624
"WhatsApp has sued the Indian government over new internet laws which the company says will “severely undermine” the privacy of their users.
The new IT laws, which have been called oppressive and draconian, give the Indian government greater power to monitor online activity, including on encrypted apps like WhatsApp and Signal. They were passed in February but were due to come into effect on Wednesday.
Under the laws, encryption – which keeps communications on the app private and inaccessible to outside parties – would have to be removed from WhatsApp in India and messages would have to be put into a “traceable” database. The government would then be able to identify and take action against the sender if any content was ruled “unlawful”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/26/whatsapp-sues-indian-government-over-mass-surveillance-internet-laws

WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users in India and is a fundamental tool of communication across the country, had previously said it would not store the data of its users. The company filed a lawsuit in the Delhi courts on Wednesday on the basis the new laws are unconstitutional and a violation of citizen’s right to the preservation of privacy, as mentioned in a 2017 supreme court ruling..."


WhatsApp, now isn't that owned by Fakebook? Getting upset about surveillance? I'm having trouble getting my head around that, it does not compute here.
'Wolf in watchdog's clothing': India's new digital media laws spark fears for freedoms
 

JoyousBudweiser

Level 14
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Aug 22, 2013
685
Indian government only asked them to appoint a liaison officer and a compliance officer in India. I don't see any privacy violation in that. If the demand made to these officers in future gets coloured or if it seems to violate natural justice or any fundamental rights enshrined in In Indian Constitution, they or the affected citizen can always apporch the concerned High Court or even the Supreme court directly. This is just a bogus attempt by whatsapp to evade national laws nothing else. They are not at all concerned about users privacy.
 

brambedkar59

Level 24
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,337
Indian government only asked them to appoint a liaison officer and a compliance officer in India. I don't see any privacy violation in that. If the demand made to these officers in future gets coloured or if it seems to violate natural justice or any fundamental rights enshrined in In Indian Constitution, they or the affected citizen can always apporch the concerned High Court or even the Supreme court directly. This is just a bogus attempt by whatsapp to evade national laws nothing else. They are not at all concerned about users privacy.
Indian govt is asking for a way to trace each and every message anyone sends, which means they are asking to breaks the end-to-end encryption. This guy explains it much better.


Right To Privacy Not Absolute, Says Government On WhatsApp's Lawsuit
"As per all established judicial dictum, no fundamental right, including the right to privacy, is absolute and it is subject to reasonable restrictions," Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, adding that the rules asking for the "first originator of information" are an example of such a "reasonable restriction".

Both the Journalists have been booked under National Security Act. Just mind blown.
The detainees had commented in Manipuri that “cow dung, cow urine are ineffective against Covid-19”. They were remanded in custody till May 17.
This is what "National Security" means for current govt.
Off-topic
 
Last edited:

CyberTech

Level 37
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Nov 10, 2017
2,647
Thanks for sharing, keep em coming..

off-topic:
do use quote next time, if you dont know how to add it so here's the tutorial

OholbZZ.gif
 

Mohan Rajan

Level 2
May 7, 2016
85
WhatsApp has long been used to spread false narratives and incitement to violence by vested interests aand enemy nations, in some parts of India. All the Government wants is to identify the sources of such fake news and take down the fake news which have become a headache to the Government. As a user of whatsapp I do not have any issues with the Government reading my messages. So what is whats app worried about? If its officials are targeted, they can always approach the Courts which any citizen or resident of India can. Whatsapp thinks it is above the law. It is being abused to spread fake news under the pretext of free speech but not bear the liability. Time to teach the appmaker a lesson.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Venustus

Arequire

Level 28
Verified
Top poster
Content Creator
Feb 10, 2017
1,710
Modi and the BJP have a history of enacting discriminatory policies against India's Muslim population, and of harassing and supressing critics of his government.
I agree that WhatsApp shouldn't be above national law, but allowing the government access to everyone's messages will only lead to further repression and will ultimately be used to harm innocent people.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 78429

Indian government only asked them to appoint a liaison officer and a compliance officer in India. I don't see any privacy violation in that. If the demand made to these officers in future gets coloured or if it seems to violate natural justice or any fundamental rights enshrined in In Indian Constitution, they or the affected citizen can always apporch the concerned High Court or even the Supreme court directly. This is just a bogus attempt by whatsapp to evade national laws nothing else. They are not at all concerned about users privacy.
If that is the only thing government wants then there shouldn't be any problem. But there are also talks of censoring Social Media and OTT platforms which definitely is a problem if we consider current approach of Govt towards journalists and media.
 

Stopspying

Level 14
Thread author
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Jan 21, 2018
624
This is not just about what is happening in India with WhatsApp and the government there, or between different sections of society in one country. That seems like a parochial approach to it.

If this move by the government is successful it is another step in the path of breaking encryption worldwide. Other governments want to intercept private communications in a blanket approach way, they will use the Indian government as an example for them also gaining access to everyones WhatsApp records and other forms of online communication. We see our government here in the UK making repeated attempts to pry into all of our lives, irrespective of whether we are suspected of being a 'terrorist, criminal etc'. Terrorism and other behaviours like paedophilia are often used as examples as to why this intrusion into our privacy should occur. I am in no way standing up for the perpetrators of those type of acts. I am concerned about whose business it is that I have arranged to meet some friends for a social occasion, or what communication I have with an employer, financial institution or other interest group. It should not matter that this information is completely lawful to share, it does matter that we can discuss this in private. Governments have many ways of intruding into our lives as it is, they have a lot of information already about terrorists and paedophiles and do not act on it in many cases.

We saw what the NSA, CIA, GCHQ etc were doing when Edward Snowden revealed their spying activities on us all. Allowing yet another backdoor is another step towards us all having no privacy whatsoever. It is sad to hear 'I haven't got anything to hide' being said still.
 
Last edited: