SC postpones WhatsApp hearing on Facebook plea

SC postpones WhatsApp hearing on Facebook plea
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
13 Aug, 2019

The Supreme Court today postponed the hearing against messaging platform WhatsApp on Facebook’s plea to transfer the case from the Madras High Court. The next hearing is scheduled on August 19. 

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been at the centre of a traceability debate due to the public interest litigation filed by Antony Clement Rubin and Janani Krishnamurthy in 2018 asking the government to link Aadhaar or other government identity proof for authenticating new email or user account. Other technology majors like Facebook are also respondents to the case, which was being heard in the Madras High Court by a division bench.

Internet Freedom Foundation was made an intervener in the case, according to a report in Medianama.

The HC bench had sought technical submission on traceability of messages on WhatsApp from V Kamakoti, professor at the department of computer science and engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Kamakoti, who is a member of the National Security Advisory Board under the Prime Minister’s Office, had earlier suggested that the number of the author of a message should be attached to a forward to ensure traceability without breaking encryption.

The messaging app has maintained the stand on not breaking the encryption of messages sent on the platform but had introduced other changes like limiting the number of forwards sent by an individual at a time to curb the spread of misinformation.