WhatsApp CEO yet again Reiterates On Traceability Clause by India’s IT Rules, undermining user security

WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart yet again took a stand over the traceability clause in the new IT Rules 2021 stating that the end-to-end encryption deteriorates the security provided.


In a recent interview Cathcart stated that, “With the IT rules in India, the specific thing that those rules require is that you build some system [to comply] If someone comes up to us and says, Hey, someone said the words ‘XYZ.’ Tell us who the first person is who said the words XYZ. That’s not private. And it undermines the security that end-to-end encryption provides.”

Opposing the revised Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 WhatsApp has further clarified that it abides by & takes utmost care of user privacy and requiring messaging apps to “trace” chats takes away people’s right to privacy.

A lawsuit was filed by WhatsApp against the IT rules in the Delhi High Court on May 26. The messaging app’s CEO when questioned about this move and whether it’s only limited to India, said, it’s a political question and a technical question. The rules as laid down seem only to be applied to people in India. He further added there being a broader political question.

On concerns about other countries following the suit, the CEO added on seeing follow it, and more joining in it, or push for it, the more the remaining countries want to push for it, too”.

According to a report published in September, the government was quite firm on its favor of traceability and clarified that social media platforms such as WhatsApp require to “rebuild their platforms” if law enforcement agencies need to help trace the origins of any law-making messages.

India has stated that “traceability has no connect with breaking end-to-end encryption.” While being firm on its statement on the need of traceability, the government asserted there is a “complete need” for national security and law and order in the country.

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