WhatsApp firmly rejects India's call for an end to encryption

WhatsApp firmly rejects India's call for an end to encryption
Not particularly popular in the US, WhatsApp crossed the global 1.5 billion monthly active user mark around six months ago. That means this is currently Facebook’s second-largest product, behind the company’s namesake social network, but ahead of both Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and fake news has been haunting the wildly successful instant messaging service in ways you may not want to hear about. One of the thorniest and scariest problems associated with WhatsApp’s rise of late is an apparent link between the easy dissemination of false information and a growing number of mass lynchings in India.

The world’s second-most populous country is the home of over 250 million WhatsApp users, many of which rely on the IM app for more than individual communication with friends and family members. The platform has been undergoing several sets of changes lately in order to make it harder for innocent people to be basically sentenced to death without a trial.

But the pressure is reportedly mounting for a more drastic transformation of the app to take place. Specifically, India’s government claims “there is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative/inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies.”

In other words, WhatsApp may need to give up the end-to-end encryption feature added to the service a couple of years back, which vocal privacy supporters have cited as a major factor in the platform’s subsequent popularity boom.

In response to India’s request for “more effective solutions” to “unfortunate incidents” caused by the “misuse of their platform”, WhatsApp spokespeople have highlighted a “deep” commitment to “people’s privacy and security.” End-to-end encryption will be maintained for “all users”, and there’s not going to be an easy way to detect the point of origin of inflammatory and misleading messages going forward either.

source: VentureBeat

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16 Comments

1. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

Oh! thanks WhatsApp If they want to stop lynchings caused by fake news then they should better do broadcasting of videos which teaches people about believing fake news and consequences of spreading it. If they can broadcast their fake achievements on most channels then can easily do this.

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4767; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

People are just plain stupid to spread false informations without confirming it beforehand. They want to be the first ones to bring the news, be it false or true and for that reason people are suffering.

19. andynaija

Posts: 1251; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Exactly.

4. Avieshek unregistered

Why not attack those websites or blogs?

7. Bfrenz

Posts: 285; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

Typo: Outta.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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