KOCHI: A software engineer from Idukki on Wednesday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the central government to ban the operations of WhatsApp if the company is not willing to co-operate with the lawful authorities in India.
KG Omanakuttan, Kumali, Idukki, submitted that WhatsApp has moved the Delhi High Court against India's new IT Rules that require instant messaging platforms to aid in identifying the 'originator' of messages. The company claimed that the rules violates the privacy of a citizen. The petitioner pointed out that the app itself violates the privacy of its users and cannot blame the law of this land.
The petitioner argued that fake information in the form of texts, images and videos is been widely spread and circulated. Character assassination of many prominent personalities of all political parties was done using such messages. This app is being used by anti-nationals to pass their messages and information. Criminal activities such as threats, honey traps, fake visas, admissions and job placements are a few instances of misuse of the app, the petitioner said.
He pointed out that the authorities are finding it difficult to trace the source of unlawful activities as there are no laws in India to insist that they share the source. The company has never cooperated with the authorities saying that the platform is end-to-end encrypted, even in cases which involve the security of the nation, he alleged.
The petitioner argued that no one is above the law and no one should be allowed to be above law. The app should abide by the laws of this country so as to function here. If the app is not willing to change its technology and cooperate with the government, it should not be permitted to operate. The central government has banned many websites and mobile apps for being against the interests of the country.
The petitioner also sought a directive to the central government to ask WhatsApp to comply with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.
The court will consider the petition on Monday.