Regulators

×

Meity says no proposal presently to tap WhatsApp messages

Meity junior Minister SS Ahluwalia said govt has powers to do such snooping if need arises

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/09/ss_0.jpg?itok=CSvHng-p

NEW DELHI: Though the Indian government continues to explore avenues to track digital footprints of the citizens and regulations for online media, it said on Wednesday it did not plan at present to tap people’s WhatsApp messages.

“No sir,” was the reply given by junior Minister SS Ahluwalia at the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (Meity) when asked specifically whether the government planned to snoop into WhatsApp messages of individuals.

However, Ahluwalia clarified that though the government respects an individual’s human rights, as enshrined in declarations of the United Nations, it has the powers to intercept or monitor digital information under various circumstances, including security reasons.

“Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 empowers government to  issue direction for interception or monitoring or decryption of information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of (i) sovereignty and integrity of India (ii) defence of India (iii) security of the State (iv) friendly relations with foreign States (v) public order (vi) for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, or (vii) for investigation of any offence,” the Minister stated in Parliament to a query on whether any proposed move to tap WhatsApp messages would violate global conventions set by organisations such as the UN.

To another query from a fellow parliamentarian, Ahluwalia said the Ministry doesn’t have any proposal at present to create a platform

where a citizen can identify fake news or hoaxes, which are rampant these days in the country.

The Minister, though, listed various government initiatives to make citizens aware of fake news on digital and social media. He said government agencies have been highlighting the importance of “following ethics” while using the internet and issuing general advisories against sharing rumours and fake news.

“Government has also asked WhatsApp to convey various steps taken by them to deal with fake news and also to share learning material to

educate the same,” the Minister stated.

Still, his senior at Meity who also happens to be the Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad is on record favouring evolving a policy to control the spread of fake news in India.

Last month, Department of Telecoms, on a request from Meity, had written to all telecom and internet service providers , along with other industry organisations, requesting suggestions on ways that can help the government block under special circumstances social media content on platforms like the Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. The proposal has been criticised by many, including a chamber of commerce, Assocham.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/26/arun-jaitley.jpg?itok=JR9uIOnx
IBF saddened by the untimely demise of Arun Jaitley

IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation), India’s apex body of television broadcasters is shocked and saddened by the untimely demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister and MP. IBF President, NP Singh has expressed profound grief and sorrow on his death and called the loss to the country '...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/24/ariun.jpg?itok=U9w--iF0
Arun Jaitley’s portfolio as I&B minister had many gems

MUMBAI: Former union minister and one of the most senior and popular BJP veterans, Arun Jaitley died earlier this morning. He was undergoing treatment at AIIMS Delhi for the past several weeks. A lawyer by profession, Jaitley had quite a prolific career as a politician as well. He held several...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/23/IBF.jpg?itok=OWbhxwqL
TRAI's tariff related consultation paper draws concern from IBF

MUMBAI: The IBF notes with some concern the issues raised for consultation by TRAI in the Consultation Paper issued on 16th August 2019 (CP).  These issues strike at the very heart of the new MRP based tariff regime which TRAI made effective from 1st February 2019 (NTO).  It is fair to say the...

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/TRAI_800New.jpg?itok=DGaQV4jp
TRAI data shows wireless data revenue, subscribers, ARPU shot up in 2018

Wireless data usage in the country is spiking up. According to a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the total revenue that telecom operators collected through data usage last year was Rs 54,671.44 crore. In 2017, the revenue was Rs 38,882 crore.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/21/TV-remote.jpg?itok=OLgAaT1g
TRAI tariff order impacted uptake of niche channels: KPMG

Even as TRAI is mulling over changes to its existing tariff order, a report by KPMG, India’s Digital Future, highlighted that niche channels were affected especially due to lesser focus on such channels in broadcaster packs.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/21/TRAI_800New.jpg?itok=EIISUDje
TRAI tweaking new tariff order could trigger turmoil in broadcasting sector

The latest consultation paper (CP) from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has created quite a stir in India’s broadcasting sector. Titled ‘Tariff-related issues for broadcasting and cable services’, the CP is essentially an admission from the regulator that its new tariff order (NTO...

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/20/trai.jpg?itok=OjST9oVa
Broadcasters raise concern over TRAI consultation paper to review channel pricing

MUMBAI: The recent decision by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to review the issues of pricing of channels has brought about concern among broadcasters, according to a report by IANS. Broadcasters fear that the new approach, barely eight months into the new tariff regime, will only...

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/16/trai.jpg?itok=F0JH4sGS
Broadcasters, DPOs misused new tariff order to throttle market discovery of channel prices: TRAI

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday issued a consultation paper on tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/12/hh.jpg?itok=D6SPsHgm
TRAI intensifies efforts to overhaul TV audience measurement & ratings system

Stepping up efforts to improve India's television audience measurement and ratings system, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last week invited sealed limited tenders for organising a Hackathon. Hackerearth, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Persistent Systems Ltd and...

Regulators TRAI

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories