WhatsApp has sued the GOI with the aim of blocking legislation that undermines users privacy in the eyes of the chat app. The case is before the Supreme Court of the Delhi region, where the office of the chat service is located in India. With 400 million users, India is the largest market for the app.
The law comes into force today, after a transitional period of 90 days. He obliges chat services such as WhatsApp to find out who a message originated from at the governments request, writes The Wall Street Journal.
If a company does not respond to such a request, employees can be held criminally liable. According to WhatsApp, the legislation has the effect of breaking the encryption of chats, thereby undermining users privacy. The communication between users is encrypted in such a way that even WhatsApp itself does not have access to it.
Tracking and recording where a message comes from, the company also calls “inefficient” and highly susceptible to abuse. According to WhatsApp, the government is making a new form of “mass surveillance obligatory”.
There have been tensions between American tech companies and the Indian government for a long time. For example, in March, the government threatened to put employees of Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp in jail because the parties were reluctant to comply with requests to delete content or share data.