Indian Government to put a check on WhatsApp to trace origin of fake news with digital fingerprints

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WhatsApp is one of the most popular being used global messaging app in the world and has a large userbase specially in India. The Facebook-owned app has a lot of security features including end-to-end encryption and also doesn’t keep the data shared on the platform. But now, the Indian government is asking more from WhatsApp. they want the company to add a new feature which allows users to fingerprint every message shared on the platform. With this feature being available, the Government will be easily able to track down the origin of any message thus curtailing the spread of fake news .

According to a recent report by The Economic TimesWhatsApp was asked to “digitally fingerprint every message sent on its platform without breaking its encryption”. This information has been linked by the publication to two senior government officials.

“Fingerprinting WhatsApp messages will help find the originator of the message. That is all we want,” the official reportedly said. “We don’t want to read the messages but when we see a problematic message we should be able to go to WhatsApp to help us trace the sender,” the official said. “They have to find a way, it is technically possible.”

A digital fingerprint on messages would mean that WhatsApp will have to create a new database for messages being shared on its platform and store every one of them with a unique fingerprint. This also calls for WhatsApp to redesign its basic architecture since WhatsApp has already stated its stand of not being able to offer traceability on the existing end-to-end encryption architecture.

WhatsApp told IANS, “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”

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