Government maintains traceability is needed to fight online crime, fake news, hate speech
An Indian court agreed to examine WhatsApp’s and its parent Facebook Inc.’s challenge to the country’s new internet rules, which the messaging app says would require breaking its end-to-end encryption security feature.
A panel of two judges headed by the Delhi High Court’s Chief Justice D.N. Patel issued notices to the federal ministry of information technology, seeking the government’s stand on the petitions. The court will hear the case next on Oct. 22.
WhatsApp and Facebook have argued that breaking encryption to trace the origin of messages infringes upon users’ right to privacy and free speech. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government maintains traceability is needed to fight online crime, fake news and hate speech.
The court’s decision to hear the case in detail underscores a legal success for WhatsApp in a broader ongoing dispute between technology giants and the Indian government over the new rules. Twitter Inc. earlier this month agreed to comply with other provisions of the rules after months of tussle.
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