Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
Tech
Powered by cricketnext logo
News18 » Tech
2-min read

Government of India And WhatsApp Are Debating Encryption Laws: All You Need to Know

Judge Deepak Gupta asked the government lawyers to explain why the onus of facilitating decryption should be on the social media companies.

Reuters

Updated:October 24, 2019, 10:45 AM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
Government of India And WhatsApp Are Debating Encryption Laws: All You Need to Know
Image for Representation

India’s government asked Facebook Inc to help it decrypt private messages on its network, citing national security requirements in a court hearing on privacy rights on social media platforms. India’s Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court that it was the responsibility of social media companies to share data wherever there was a threat to national security. “A terrorist cannot claim privacy,” Venugopal said. “For Facebook and WhatsApp to say they cannot decrypt is not acceptable.” Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has about 400 million users in India, allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and videos using end-to-end encryption, beyond the oversight of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.

The government said in an affidavit it planned to frame new rules to govern social media “keeping in view the ever growing threats to individual rights and nation’s integrity, sovereignty, and security.” “They can’t come into the country and say we will establish an non-decryptable system,” Venugopal said, referring to big internet platforms.

But Facebook’s lawyer Mukul Rohtagi told the court the company was not obliged to share users’ data with the Indian government.

The case went to the Supreme court after Facebook in August asked the top court to hear all cases concerning privacy and curbs on social media usage, local media reported. WhatsApp has been trying to find ways to prevent its misuse, following concerns that the platform was being used to spread disinformation, but has said it will not dilute end-to-end encryption. Rohtagi said local laws neither mandated companies to share data with government agencies, nor placed the onus of facilitating a process of decrypting messages on them. “The rules say if I have the key, I could give the key. But I don’t have the key myself,” Rohtagi said, referring to Facebook or WhatsApp servers which are located outside of India.

The Supreme Court said it will now consolidate all pending cases on the issue from lower courts across the country and hear it beginning the last week of January.

Tushar Mehta, a lawyer for the government, said there was no intention to invade into personal lives of citizens, and India merely wanted to guard its citizens against extremism. But Judge Deepak Gupta asked the government lawyers to explain why the onus of facilitating decryption should be on the social media companies. He said the law allows the government to seek help to decrypt, but does not suggest the companies do it for the government, he told Venugopal. “Nobody prevents you from having your own system of decryption,” Gupta said.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results