New IT rules, applicable to large social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, that came into force on May 26 have left many users in a fix. Many social media behemoths have voiced concerns over privacy and freedom of expression, while they have fully or partially complied with the new IT rules. A general apprehension among users is whether their chats and content shared over the medium are secure or not.
WhatsApp has moved the Delhi High Court against the government over one of the new rules that require the identification of the originator of a flagged message. The instant messaging platform has alleged that tracing private messages would break end-to-end encryption and violate the citizens’ right to privacy.
With the row over privacy taking centre stage, many users across the country are wondering whether they should continue to use WhatsApp and if the government or the messaging app is keeping a tab over their private conversations.
Here are some key questions about WhatsApp row answered:
Can WhatsApp see my personal chats?
Can the government see my private chats?
WhatsApp chats are protected by end-to-end encryption, which means no one can see your messages except the people you share them with.
I have received offensive content on WhatsApp. Am I in trouble?
As per one of the new digital rules, the government wants WhatsApp and other major social media firms to identify the originator of a message who may have shared offensive content.
“The originator of information can only be traced in a scenario where other remedies have proven to be ineffective, making the same the last resort measure,” the government has clarified.
So, as long as you don’t start a message containing sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material or content that may have a negative impact on the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country, you have nothing to worry about.
Will WhatsApp be banned?
The government has warned that if social media firms fail to comply with new rules, they will take action. There is no word yet about what happens next. As for now, WhatsApp has complied with the rules and is working just fine.
It has however moved the Delhi High Court against the rules concerning the identification of the originator of a message.
What does the red tick on WhatsApp mean?
A message has been doing rounds on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, that claims three red ticks on WhatsApp show that the government has initiated court proceedings against you.
"Two blue ticks and one red tick means the government can take action, while three red ticks will mean the government has started court proceedings against you," the viral message reads.
Well, the message is fake. You need not pay heed to it as WhatsApp has implemented no such measure in their app.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)
First Published: IST