India told WhatsApp to Develop a Mechanism for Tracing Origin of Messages

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The government on Friday told WhatsApp to develop a mechanism to trace origin of messages when the app is found to be abused by terrorists and extremists, and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that the platform has assured prompt action in such cases.

“On the issue of traceability, I have conveyed to them traceability shall be their job. But in the event WhatsApp platform is sought to be abused by rogue (elements), terrorists and extremist elements by repeating, recirculation of messages, then there must be a mechanism where those could be traced to enforce law and order, safety and security of the country,” Prasad said after meeting WhatsApp Global Head Will Cathcart.

The meeting comes at a time when the messaging platform faces pressure from India to bring in traceability of fake message originators.


“This I have told them clearly, the mechanism shall be developed by them. And request for that will also come from appropriately high level so that there is no tinkering in between,” Prasad said. Prasad said the WhatsApp head has assured action in these matters.

Post the meeting with the minister, Cathcart said WhatsApp has reiterated its support for encryption and how important it is for the product. EArlier yesterday, Cathcart has announced that WhatsApp could roll out its payments service to users across India later this year.

The company is focussed on making changes to its product to deal with virality like forward limits that it had set on its messages, he added.

“We talked about the work we are doing to cooperate with law enforcement, put in place training, and handle requests,” he said. PTI MBI SR

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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