‘Encryption cannot allow rumours’, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

October 14, 2019 09:55 pm | Updated 09:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad. File

Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad. File

Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said while the government respects encryption, it is important that the law enforcement agencies be able to identify the source of messages that are fake.

“We respect encryption but where the same message is being relayed repeatedly at the same time, in the same area and on the same issue to create chaos and spread false rumours, law enforcement agencies must have access…the source of nuisance must be identified to deal with circulation of false rumours in such cases,” Mr. Prasad said at the India Mobile Congress 2019.

“I am happy that the USA, UK and Australia have also echoed the same concerns as India had raised with respect to traceability of encrypted messages through social media,” Mr. Prasad added.

The government and the instant messaging giant Whatsapp have been at loggerheads over the issue of traceability for the past several months. While the Centre has demanded that Whatsapp help it trace the origin of the ‘fake’ messages circulated via its platform, the Facebook-owned firm has said that doing so would undermine its policy on privacy.

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