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The government of India on Thursday announced the all-new Information Technology Rules 2021, which include some guidelines that every social media service has to follow. While the new rule will take some time to come into effect, the government has put forward a firm stand to identify a message's originators. This means that platforms like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and others have to comply with the new rules. This might cause the END-to-END encryption at stake.
Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday pointed out that if a tweet or message has not originated in India, then the app must tell the government who in India received it first. This is good, for maintaining stability in social media in case of FAKE NEWS.
"We have always been clear as a company that we welcome regulations that set guidelines for addressing today’s toughest challenges on the Internet. Facebook is committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platforms. The details of rules like these matter, and we will carefully study the new rules that were just published. We acknowledge and appreciate the recognition from the Minister on the positive contributions of social media to the country. Facebook is an ally for India, and the agenda of user safety and security is a critical one for our platforms. We will continue to work to ensure that our platforms play an enabling role in fuelling the exciting digital transformation of India," said a Facebook spokesperson, as per reports from India Today.
We have also seen WhatsApp deny the Govt take on messages saying that it will break END-to-END encryption.
"Significant social media intermediaries providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable identification of the first originator of the information that is required only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years," the government said in its new rule announced on Thursday.
"Intermediary shall not be required to disclose the contents of any message or any other information to the first originator," the government also notifies that the app or platform doesn't need to alert the user who in this case could be the originator of a message.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also mentioned that the government's information would not require these apps to break end-to-end encryption. He said that the government is only asking for the identity of the person who originated the message and not the message itself.
Completely new solutions or a way must be taken by social media apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. so that they can comply with the new rules.
Benefits of this New Rule
- FAKE NEWS will be reduced
- Outrage messages can be traced
- Message origins can be traced so that security can be enhanced
- Social Media Services would be safer for people