FacebookWhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against the Government of India in the Delhi High Court to block the new IT rules that go into effect today. The new rules require “major social media intermediaries” like WhatsApp to “track” the origin of certain messages sent through the service.
While the law requires WhatsApp to only expose people who are credibly accused of wrongdoing, the company says that in practice it cannot do so on its own. Since messages are end-to-end encrypted, WhatsApp would, according to the law, interrupt the encryption of recipients and “senders” of messages.
Reuters has not been able to independently confirm that WhatsApp, which has nearly 400 million users in India, has filed the complaint in court, or when it might be considered by the court. Those with knowledge of the matter declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the problem. India has set five million registered users as the threshold for defining a major social media intermediary.
It has the appointment of a resident complainant, a Chief Compliance Officer and one node contact arranged and the details of these executives published together with a physical contact address on their website. The rules also mandate the traceability of the sender of messages, along with a provision for voluntary verification as a means of establishing user identity.