WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court against the Indian government, alleging that one of the new rules violates the Indian constitution’s right to privacy by requiring social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.
While the law requires WhatsApp to reveal the identities of only those who have been credibly accused of wrongdoing, the company claims it cannot do so on its own. Because WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, WhatsApp claims it would have to break encryption for both recipients and “originators” of messages to comply with the law.
Following police visits to Twitter’s offices earlier this week, tensions have risen. The microblogging service had labeled posts from the ruling party and others as containing “manipulated media,” implying that forged content was present.
The government has also pressed tech companies to remove not only misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging India, but also criticism of the government’s response to the crisis, which is claiming thousands of lives every day.