No plan to blanket ban messaging apps: Telecom secy

No plan to blanket ban messaging apps: Telecom secy

Reuters photo.

The Centre on Thursday said that there is no proposal before the government to impose a blanket ban on messaging apps or platform but it is just seeking technical solutions from the telecom players to prevent its misuse.

"... misuse is a small part of it, we cannot go around blocking the whole platform. The idea is to evolve effective grievance redressal...targeted prevention or corrective action to be taken in those kinds of cases," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here.

Earlier, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had sought the industry view on technical measures that can be adopted for blocking mobile apps like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc in situations where national security and public order were under threat.

Industry body COAI (Cellular Operators' Association of India), however, cautioned against blocking of mobile apps, saying it would not only impinge on freedom of speech and expression of users, but also hit routine day-to-day communications, commercial activity, and business interests.

The telecom secretary said that technical solutions such as analysis of metadata, Artificial Intelligence and others allowed identification of mischievous messages treading unusual patterns.

Taking the serious note on circulating fake news in social media platform, recently the government had asked WhatsApp to take urgent measures to curb the circulation of such messages and, more importantly, identify its originators.

However, the Facebook-owned company learnt to have rejected the government's suggestion on identifying the originators of message saying that building traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of the messaging app.