WhatsApp Sues Modi Government, Says New Media Rules Mean End to Privacy

WhatsApp has filled a legal complaint in Delhi against the Indian government, requesting that regulations that go into effect on Wednesday be blocked, as experts believe they will force the California-based Facebook unit to violate privacy protections.

According to people familiar with the lawsuit, it asks the Delhi high court to declare that one of the new rules violates privacy rights in India’s constitution by requiring social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.

While the law requires WhatsApp to unmask only those who have been credibly accused of wrongdoing, the company claims that it cannot do so on its own. Because messages are end-to-end encrypted, WhatsApp claims that in order to comply with the law, it would have to break encryption for both recipients and “originators” of messages.

Other legal challenges to the new rules have already been filed in Delhi and elsewhere, including one by The Wire. These difficulties, however, refer to the section that extends the IT rules to digital media publications.

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