WhatApp Texts to be Traceable Soon

New IT Laws

New IT Rules: WhatApp Texts to be Traceable Soon

The Government of India is taking anonymity out of the internet. The government is finalizing laws that would make traceability of online messages mandatory, Junior IT Minister Sanjay Dhotre told the Rajya Sabha. It will also require internet intermediaries such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and TikTok to take down content within 24 hours of a court order or government notification. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been resisting the government’s demand on this front, saying doing so would undermine its promise of end-to-end encryption. 

Also, traceability of the originator of information will need to be provided. It is a welcome move by the government to curb fake news and nefarious messages spread across social media platforms. This shall go a long way to help law-enforcement agencies and resolve user grievances. It could easily be done with use of ‘meta data’ and machine intelligence entailment. Pactera’s DISC team could help with the social media listening platform to help corporations trace malicious content and feed these out from source.

It is good that traceability is being made mandatory. This should have been done by ordinance at least 5 years ago. For the last 4 years the government has been unable to take any meaningful action on traceability. A lot of damage has been caused to our polity already. In India, the problems are primarily with viral malicious posts on WhatsApp and Facebook.

As per Shishir Gupta, the Founder of StartupLanes:

It is a debatable question that whether the government should control the internet on the territory, or should it have no restrictions at all. I welcome this move to curb fake news and rumors.