The Indian government is working right now on a law that would allow entities of the state to access people’s WhatsApp, Facebook, over-the-top channels, and other social networks.
The worrisome part of the story is that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has already passed the regulations that would make this possible to the Indian Department of Telecommunications. This means that the Indian Government will soon be able to lawfully intercept communications through WhatsApp and other platforms if the regulations are approved.
In other words, we are talking about the Indian Government being blatantly able to spy on their citizens and to regulate content posted on said platforms.
WhatsApp has been on TRAI’s sight for a long time
WhatsApp is without a doubt the most used messenger app in the world, and Indians make a large percentage of its user base.
There have been several attempts in the past from the Indian Government to get access to WhatsApp, but Facebook has always been able to push back. However, with these new regulations in place, they might have no other choice than to bend the knee or to leave the country for good.
These regulations are not only aimed at WhatsApp but also to Facebook and several other OTT channels and messaging apps.
The lawful interception of communications is not something new. As per India’s Telegraph Act, 1885, the government is allowed “to take control of the database or unleash surveillance on all communications”.
However, this measure only involves public emergencies, like acts of war or riots. But that’s not enough for them, not even close…What the Indian Government is seeking, is regular access to all digital communications – all of this in the name of preventing violence and outrage caused by “fake news and violent news”.
Nonetheless, we all know that what they actually want is an easy way to spy and control digital communications on their country, which is the dream of any government, but just so happens that if those regulations are approved, that dream (or nightmare) might come true.