WhatsApp sues India over new internet regulations

WhatsApp reportedly filed a lawsuit against the government of India over new internet regulations requiring messaging apps to trace the origin of correspondence, adding fuel to a spat between the company and country.

Financial Times (FT) reported the Facebook subsidiary initiated the legal action in the High Court of Delhi, claiming India’s new digital services regulations would require tech companies to provide information on the origins, and content of certain private messages.

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WhatsApp did not address the lawsuit directly, but told Mobile World Live it is committed to “protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will continue to do all we can within the laws of India to do so”.

In a separate statement, WhatsApp said traceability would erode user privacy, violate human rights and put innocent people at risk. It warned tracing messages would be “ineffective and highly susceptible to abuse”, because a user would be branded as the origin of messages even if they are sharing content sent to them by other means.

The lawsuit increases pressure between WhatsApp and India, which are at loggerheads over a controversial privacy policy update by the messaging service.