WhatsApp Must Comply With New IT Rules: Opinion

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WhatsApp is an important tool of communication for people in India. Almost everyone who owns a smartphone has a WhatsApp account. The social media application has been in the spotlight for the last few months, largely for the wrong reasons. After its privacy policy issue, the social media application will need to battle it out with the government concerning the new IT rules.

According to the new IT rules, WhatsApp needs to help the government or the law enforcement agency whenever the originators of fake messages are needed to be found. But WhatsApp has said that it won’t be able to comply with the new rules because of its end-to-end encryption policy of the messages.

Because of this policy, WhatsApp won’t be able to find the originator of a fake message. Further, the Facebook-owned company said that if it complies with the new IT rules, it will lead to a violation of the fundamental rights of free speech and expression. However, things aren’t this simple, and WhatsApp is kind of disrespecting the Indian law when it is saying that it won’t be able to comply with the new IT rules.

WhatsApp Can be Banned in India

According to a Bar and Bench report, a man from Kerala recently filed a petition to ban WhatsApp if it doesn’t comply with the new IT rules. The petitioner pointed out that while WhatsApp’s privacy policy highlights that the application in certain instances store the messages that its users send and also accesses their contacts and other data.

The petitioner further said that even a common man could manipulate the media sent through the application; thus, it is not so secure after all. In the petition, the Kerala based software engineer gave the example of floods in Kerala in 2018 when many fake messages and news were circulating in WhatsApp.

One of the biggest things pointed out in the petition was the fact that WhatsApp is complying with the laws of the European region but not India’s. This is a great question, why is WhatsApp not complying with Indian law?

There’s always the freedom to challenge the laws in the court, but until then, should WhatsApp comply with the rules? Absolutely it should!

While I understand the stance of WhatsApp and don’t want the government to pry on people’s personal messages, there’s also the case of WhatsApp disrespecting the Indian law, which is unacceptable. No application that can be a potential tool for spreading fake news and messages should be allowed to keep functioning without some regulations.

The question about whether these are the right laws and the manner of regulation or not, that’s debatable, and WhatsApp has all the right to approach the court regarding the same; but only after it has accepted the new IT rules.

Either WhatsApp should comply with the laws of the Indian government or get banned. What do you think?

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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