The largest “democracy” in the world, India is reportedly putting pressure on the social media giant, Facebook to give them access to the apps encrypted messages.
The move is motivated by India’s clampdown on dissent under the garb of anti-state and anti-terrorist initiative.
Facebook has said it will continue to develop new ways to maintain users’ security, at a time when seven countries including India have made a renewed push to get access to encrypted messages for law enforcement purposes.
Facebook said it has always held that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people’s privacy, and would continue to maintain “high security”.
“We’ve long argued that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people’s most private information. In all of these countries, people prefer end-to-end encrypted messaging on various apps because it keeps their messages safe from hackers, criminals, and foreign governments. Facebook has led the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect, and respond to abuse while maintaining high security and we will continue to do so,” the social networking giant said on behalf of a Facebook spokesperson.
A follow-up email, asking if the Facebook-owned WhatsApp would comply with this renewed request from countries for backdoor access to encrypted messages, did not receive a response.
WhatsApp’s public stance has been that it will not allow backdoor access to law enforcement agencies, and that not even WhatsApp knows what the message content is because it is end-to-end encrypted.
On 11 October, seven countries — India, Japan, and the ‘Five Eyes Alliance’ set up to cooperate on intelligence purposes (UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) — issued a statement titled ‘International Statement: End-To-End Encryption And Public Safety’.