WhatsApp has reportedly filed a legal case against the Indian government over a new set of social media rules that just took effect, asking a Delhi court to declare one guideline an unconstitutional privacy violation.
The Facebook subsidiary brought a legal complaint in the Indian capital on Tuesday, arguing that one of the new rules violates privacy rights protected by the country’s constitution, asking the Delhi High Court to strike it down, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the case.
Announced in February and coming into force on Wednesday, the social media guidelines require platforms to identify the original source of information deemed illegal by the government, among other things.
However, because the WhatsApp messenger uses end-to-end encryption, the company reportedly said that complying with the rule would force it to unmask both the “originators” and receivers of messages, deeming that a ‘threat’ to users’ privacy.
Barring any decision from the High Court, should companies fail to follow the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, they stand to lose protections from criminal lawsuits and other legal proceedings currently enjoyed by platforms operating in India.