WhatsApp sues Indian government over new rules on 'traceable' messages

Whatsapp Message Hero
Whatsapp Message Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is suing the government in India.
  • It's over new laws that would require it to make messages traceable.
  • WhatsApp says this would break encryption and lead to abuse of power.

WhatsApp is suing the government in India over planned new laws that would require it to make messages traceable.

As reported by our friends at Android Central:

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit in India to challenge new government rules that would require it to make provisions to allow users' encrypted messages to be traced. WhatsApp says the rules "fundamentally undermine people's right to privacy" and would break end-to-end encryption on its platform.WhatsApp also believes that tracing messages would not just be ineffective but also highly susceptible to abuse. Since traceability would force the best Android messaging apps to hand over the names of people who shared something even if they did not create it, innocent people might get caught up in investigations.

WhatsApp said in a statement that the requirement to trace private messages "would break end-to-end encryption and lead to real abuse" and that it was "committed to protecting the privacy of people's personal messages and we will continue to do all we can within the laws of India to do so."

Rules proposed in February would be required to take down social media posts deemed unlawful by the government. It would also require messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Signal to create "traceable" message databases with "fingerprints" to identify senders. Other companies including Mozilla say they stand with Whatsapp on the issue. With support for cross-platform messaging, WhatsApp remains one of the best messaging apps for Mac in 2021.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9