WhatsApp Vows to Remove Child Porn, But Encryption under Threat

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WhatsApp has pledged to remove child pornography and rape videos from its platform and in a statement, yesterday, said that it would take strict actions against violators. While the current intention is banning users who share such “vile” content, WhatsApp says that it will also provide legal support to help during investigations for such crimes.

This came after a bench of Supreme Court Justices U U Lalit, and Madan B Lokur said that the government and some leading internet companies operating in India have come to an agreement that the videos showing non-consensual sex such as in the form of rape, harassment or pedophilic content must not be conveyed on the internet.

To this view, a WhatsApp representative was quoted saying, “while we can’t see the messages that people share, we can, and we do take action based on users report including banning accounts”. And on the contrary, it sounds very assuring, but on the other, it raises questions about WhatsApp’s control over users communications, which it promises not to see but still can snoop through them.

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The resolution that was passed by the Australian parliament is an example. In India too, WhatsApp finally appears to be conceding to the demands of the lawmakers. Top executives from the company have recently held a meeting with senior officials in the Indian government over the issue of tracing the source of messages and reading their contents with an intention to control the spread of misinformation and misleading hoaxes that might lead to public unrest.

WhatsApp, however, earlier took a strong stand hailing privacy of individuals, now appears to be into the government’s expectations to get its payments service approved for a broader roll-out in India.

While the WhatsApp executives didn’t offer a guarantee, they were in a ‘listening mode‘ while the officials were commanding the discussion, ET Tech reported. This hints that the company may step back from its firm stand on privacy and let the government access its users’ conversations.

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