Facebook’s messaging app, WhatsApp, has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in the Delhi High Court, alleging that the government is forcing the app to violate Indian privacy rights in identifying “first originator of information” at the demand of authorities.
Sital Kalantry is a professor at Cornell Law School, teaches comparative constitutional law with a focus on India, and is an expert on the Indian judicial system. Kalantry says WhatsApp comes to Delhi’s High Court with a strong argument. She adds that the Modi administration’s new rule imposed on WhatsApp is a tool to repress political dissent.
“The Indian government’s new regulations require WhatsApp to break its encryption and identify certain users to the government. The Indian Supreme Court’s landmark privacy decision in the Puttaswamy case provides protections against this government intrusion. WhatsApp has a strong argument in its case in the Delhi High Court that the government’s new rules do not have a legitimate goal. The rules are one more way that the Modi administration will repress political dissent on social media, which it did during its annexation of Kashmir and the farmers’ protests.”