Fact-check: Can govt record WhatsApp texts, calls?

Fact-check | WhatsApp 3 red ticks: Is govt now able to record your messages, calls?

A viral WhatsApp message says once the new IT rules are implemented, all calls will be recorded and social media accounts will also be monitored

A message, falsely claiming that three red ticks on a WhatsApp text mean that the government has started court proceedings against the person, has gone viral. Credit: Reuters File Photo

With the new IT rules in place, is the government keeping a track of your WhatsApp text history?

A message, falsely claiming that three red ticks on a WhatsApp text would mean that the government has started court proceedings against the person, has gone viral. 

“Two blue ticks and one red tick means the government can take action against, while three red ticks will mean that the government has started court proceedings against you," the text reportedly reads.

However, WhatsApp has clarified on the "end-to-end encryption" and ensured that texts remain encrypted from a device controlled by the sender to one controlled by the recipient, where no third parties, not even WhatsApp or parent company Facebook, can access the content in-between.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the message with ‘forwarded many times label’ also says once the new IT rules are implemented, all calls will be recorded and social media accounts will also be monitored.

"If a user shares a negative message against the government or on a religious issue, then they will get arrested," it says.

Also read: WhatsApp takes govt to court, says new media rules mean end to privacy

It is important to note that all of the claims are false and users should refrain from forwarding any such message without proper fact-checking.

Earlier in April 2020, when a similar message had alarmed social media users, the Press Information Bureau had issued a clarification.

Recently, the Facebook-owned company has moved the Delhi High Court against the Social Media Intermediary rules 2021, contending the provisions were likely to break users' right to privacy and end-to-end encryption on its messaging service.

 

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