'We respect right of privacy, has no intention to violate it': Govt responds to Whatsapp
New Delhi, May 26: Reacting to whatsapp, the government of India, says it respects the fundamental right to privacy and has no intention to violate it by asking messaging platform WhatsApp to disclose the first originator of a particular message.
"...in a befuddling act, they seek to avoid responsibility and refuse to enact the very steps which permit them a safe harbour provision," the statement pointed out.
The Centre''s strong response comes after WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court challenging the new digital rules, arguing that the requirement to provide access to encrypted messages will break privacy protections.
In the note to the social media companies, seen by PTI, the ministry has asked these large digital entities about their compliance status and directed them to revert with their response at the earliest "and preferably today itself".
Meanwhile, the official statement said that information on the originator of the message can only be sought as per a process sanctioned by the law, thereby incorporating sufficient legal safeguards.
Tracing the origin of flagged messages would be the last resort, "only in scenarios where other remedies have proven to be ineffective".
It emphasised that detection and punishment of the person who started the mischief leading to a serious crime is in public interest and therefore, the role of the originator is very important.
Prasad said it is WhatsApp''s responsibility to find a technical solution, whether through encryption or otherwise.