Government concerned about the non-disclosure of WhatsApp of piracy incidents in previous meetings
New Delhi, November 1 () The government has expressed concern about WhatsApp for not revealing the Pegasus piracy incident during its multiple rounds of discussions with the Center since June, according to sources.
A senior government official, who did not wish to be appointed, questioned whether it was a rearguard action by WhatsApp to prevent the government from adopting traceability and accountability measures.
The government is also questioning the timing of the disclosure of the piracy incident, particularly in the context that the Center seeks three months of time from the Supreme Court to develop rules to curb the misuse of social networks in the country.
Sources said the government would insist on the traceability of the source of malicious messages and not the content.
WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has more than 1,500 million users worldwide, of which only India represents around 400 million.
In the past too, WhatsApp has received criticism from the Indian government about the misuse of the platform for spreading erroneous information that led to incidents of lynching of the mafia.
The government has categorically told WhatsApp that it wants the platform to bring a mechanism to allow the tracking of the creator of the messages, a demand that WhatsApp has resisted citing privacy issues. The government is also working to tighten the rules of social media companies in India that will increase the responsibility of such platforms.
On Thursday, WhatsApp had said that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among the globally spied by unidentified entities that used Israeli Pegasus spyware, which caused a scandal over the violation of citizens' privacy. Following the disclosure by WhatsApp, the Indian government had asked the messaging platform to explain the matter and list the measures it had taken to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians. According to sources, the company was asked to submit its response before November 4. MBI SR MR