STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

'New social media rules not against privacy; tracing messages only for very serious offences': Government

In a statement, the IT Ministry termed WhatsApp's last moment challenge to the intermediary guidelines as an unfortunate attempt to prevent norms from coming into effect.

Published: 26th May 2021 07:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2021 07:03 PM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad  (Photo | PTI)

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday said it respects the right to privacy and the requirement of tracing origin of flagged messages under the new IT rules is for prevention and investigation of "very serious offences" related to the sovereignty of India or public order.

In a statement, the IT Ministry termed WhatsApp's last moment challenge to the intermediary guidelines as an unfortunate attempt to prevent norms from coming into effect.

The UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada require social media firms to allow for legal interception, it said, adding, "What India is asking for is significantly much less than what some of the other countries have demanded."

"Therefore, WhatsApp's attempt to portray the Intermediary Guidelines of India as contrary to the right to privacy is misguided," the official statement said.

The government recognises that 'Right to Privacy' is a fundamental right and is committed to ensure the same to its citizens, it said.

ALSO READ | New IT rules allow message tracing without any judicial review: WhatsApp in Delhi HC petition

The statement further added that IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that the government "is committed to ensure the Right of Privacy to all its citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security."

Prasad also stated that "none of the measures proposed by India will impact the normal functioning of WhatsApp in any manner whatsoever and for the common users, there will be no impact."

"The Government respects the Right of Privacy and has no intention to violate it when WhatsApp is required to disclose the origin of a particular message.

"Such requirements are only in case when the message is required for prevention, investigation or punishment of very serious offences related to the 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," the statement said.

The Centre's response comes after WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court challenging the government's new digital rules, arguing that the requirement for the company to provide access to encrypted messages will break privacy protections.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp