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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 20 June 2024 11.01 AM IST

WhatsApp to leave India; Meta explains reason to court

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NEW DELHI: WhatsApp, the messaging app may leave India. Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp has informed the Delhi High Court that it has no other way but to exit the country if encryption is to be removed. The company's stance was clarified through its lawyer. Meta also informed the court that many people use WhatsApp because it encrypts messages, ensuring privacy.

The company stated it's unable to discern which messages are requested to be decrypted emphasizing that millions of messages are stored on a dedicated network daily. The High Court was hearing petitions filed by WhatsApp and its parent company Meta challenging the IT Act 2021 for social media intermediaries. A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora heard the petitions.

Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) Rules, 2021 announced by the Centre on February 25th, mandate that platforms like X, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp must adhere to the latest legal revisions. "If asked to remove encryption, WhatsApp will leave India," lawyer Tejas Karya representing Meta informed the court.

When asked whether a similar law existed in any other country, the lawyer replied, "There is no such law anywhere else in the world, not even in Brazil." In response, the court acknowledged that privacy rights are not absolute and must be balanced. Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the Centre argued that the law is crucial in cases like communal riots when objectionable content circulates on the platforms.

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TAGS: WHATSAPP, LEAVE, INDIA, SOCIAL, MEDIA, X, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, ENCRYPTION, SUPREME, COURT, META, IT ACT
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