The government on Wednesday said it respects the right to privacy and the requirement of tracing origin of flagged messages under the new IT rules is for prevention and investigation of “very serious offences” related to the sovereignty of India or public order.
In a statement, the IT Ministry termed WhatsApp’s last moment challenge to the intermediary guidelines as an unfortunate attempt to prevent norms from coming into effect.
The UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada require social media firms to allow for legal interception, it said, adding, “What India is asking for is significantly much less than what some of the other countries have demanded.”
“Therefore, WhatsApp’s attempt to portray the Intermediary Guidelines of India as contrary to the right to privacy is misguided,” the official statement said.
The government recognises that ‘Right to Privacy’ is a fundamental right and is committed to ensure the same to its citizens, it said.