Govt talks tough with WhatsApp on fake messages

The government also asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India and appoint a grievance officer.

The Centre on Tuesday talked tough with WhatsApp and indicated that the company may face abetment charges if it does not find a technological solution to track fake messages on its platform.

The Centre also asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India and appoint a grievance officer.

Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, after meeting WhatsApp Chief Executive Officer Chris Daniels here, told reporters,  “I had a productive meeting. I complimented him for the awakening which WhatsApp has led in the entire country... But there are also sinister developments like mob-lynching and revenge porn, which need solutions...”

The minister said he has asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India, appoint a grievance officer and find a technical solution to track fake messages on its platform.

“I flagged in particular that it does not take rocket science to locate a fake message being circulated in hundreds and thousands... there has to be a mechanism to find a solution,” he said.

He said WhatsApp could face abetment charges if no action is taken.

He said the Facebook-owned company has assured that it is working towards complying with these points.

WhatsApp is also keen to launch inter-bank money transfer service in India, but is waiting for clarity on RBI directive. The minister said for starting payments, the company has to store data in India to comply with Indian laws.

The minister said WhatsApp will also comply with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) direction that all payments firms operating in the country should start storing data locally for monitoring it. The RBI is still working on the guidelines in this direction.

Daniels, however, did not comment on the meeting.

WhatsApp has come under government fire following incidents of mob-lynching, sparked by fake messages on its platform.

India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users.

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Govt talks tough with WhatsApp on fake messages

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