FACT CHECK OVER NEW WHATSAPP MESSAGE CONSPIRANCY FOR NEW IT RULES
The Centre declared new IT rules on February 25 and the deadline to accept the law ceased on May 26. Non-compliance means that social media firms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram can now be litigated for posts, comments, etc. made on the outlet by users. The regulation does not carry a requirement to ban the platforms but it can take away safe harbor protections.
A WhatsApp message viral last year has been renewed in the path of the new IT rules. It contends that the Government of India is regulating all forms of online and telephonic communications and pleaded people to not send messages associated with politics or religion.
The complete WhatsApp message, “All calls are recorded. All phone call recordings saved. WhatsApp is monitored. Twitter is monitored. Facebook is monitored All social media and forums are monitored. Inform those who do not know. Your devices are connected to ministry systems. Take care not to send unnecessary messages. Inform your children, Relatives and friends about this to take care of. Don’t forward any posts or videos etc., you receive regarding politics/present situation about Government/PM etc. Police have put out a notification termed ..Cyber Crime … and action will be taken…just don’t delete it… Inform your friends & others too. Writing or forwarding any msg on any political & religious debate is an offence now….arrest without warrant… This is very serious, plz let it be known to all our groups and individual members as group admin can b in deep trouble. Take care not to send unnecessary messages. Inform everyone about this to take care of. Please share it; it’s very much true. Groups, please be careful.”
Fraud message, On March 24, 2020, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) debunked this message via Twitter. “No such thing is being done by the Government,” reads the tweet.
Do not fall for such #Whatsapp messages being circulated.
No such thing is being done by the Government.
However, everyone is advised to not share any false news/misinformation concerning #CoronavirusInIndia
For authentic information follow @MoHFW_INDIA and @pib_India pic.twitter.com/XBErXb1CSP
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 24, 2020
It is important to keep in mind that WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption (E2EE) which means “only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.” Its safe in every aspect. No need to worry about privacy. E2EE conversations remain private unless the receiver shares screenshots of the conversation or if there is a breach in the security of the communication devices. WhatsApp indicted the Indian government on May 26, 2021, over new internet rules that ask the company to identify the “first originator of information”. WhatsApp has argued this would break E2EE and infringe on the right to privacy.
We recommend you watch this short video by AJ+ about online surveillance.
Facebook Messenger doesn’t have end-to-end encryption enabled by default. But it has a feature called ‘secret conversation‘ which is end-to-end encrypted.
Furthermore, Twitter does not have end-to-end encryption for its direct messages. As per a 2018 Tech Crunch report, Twitter was testing a feature similar to Facebook’s secret conversation.
It’s important to note that not all E2EE messaging applications are comparable. Tom’s Guide, an audience supported tech blog, has listed various E2EE apps available for Android or iOS.
A 2019 report by Engadget, a US-based tech news website, compared the security offered by Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. According to this report, Signal has the highest standard of security out of the four apps.
Message viral in Hindi and Gujarati too
The viral text has been widely circulated by Hindi and Gujarati users as well. So be aware of the fraud message. Never trust such messages, if you trust then you may have to face difficulties with them.