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WhatsApp offers to track 'dubious' individuals for Indian govt

The dispute over WhatsApp monitoring remained unresolved.

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MUMBAI: Facebook vice president of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg met home minister Amit Shah, national security adviser Ajit Doval, IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and commerce minister Piyush Goyal regarding the dispute over traceability of messages in WhatApp. However, it remained unresolved.

According to an ET report, Clegg offered to track WhatsApp communication activities of persons deemed “dubious or suspicious” by government agencies. However, Facebook will only do this for persons identified by the government from now on. The company also does not want to break end-to-end encryption, which is at the core of the traceability issue.

Clegg also informed that instead of message content, Facebook could help with metadata. His discussion with Shah was around protecting end-to-end encryption as well as sharing different forms of signals in response to legal requests that can be helpful.

Clegg also commented that data localisation will create "balkanisation" of the internet and make it unlikely that the next Facebook or Google will come from India.

On Friday, the Supreme Court asked the government for an update on the proposed intermediary guidelines which mandate traceability for social media companies such as Facebook when content is deemed officially to have created law and order problems.

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