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Fact Check: Centre to Use Whatsapp as a Tool of Surveillance Over Citizens?

Republic World

A lot of misinformation has spread over social media, claiming that the centre will use Whatsapp to guard on citizens and even take legal action against them.

As of now, a single tick on WhatsApp shows that the message has been sent. A double tick means that the message has been delivered to the recipient, and a blue tick signifies that the message has been read. Also, the blue tick is optional and can be turned off by the user.

However, the Narendra Modi government has rejected all such claims and cleared the air through the Press Information Bureau(PIB). The PIB on its fact-check Twitter handle said, “A message circulating on social media claims the Government of India has released a new #WhatsApp guideline to monitor chats and take action against people. This message is #FAKE. The Government has released no such guideline.”

The message doing rounds on social media claimed that a three-blue tick means that the government had taken note. Two blue ticks and a red tick meant that the government may take action against you. One blue and two red ticks imply that the government is screening your data. Finally, three red ticks mean that the government has already initiated action, and you will have to appear before the court. However, PIB has rejected all claims.

Whatsapp messages are end-to-end encrypted. This means that only the sender and the receiver can read or listen to the messages being sent, and nobody in between including Whatsapp. “This is because with end-to-end encryption, your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. All of this happens automatically,” said Whatsapp.

The messaging platform added that a message is secured with a cryptographic lock before it leaves your device. Only the recipient has access to the keys. Also, the keys change with every single message that’s sent.

The PIB fact-check clarifies that the government has not released any guidelines for regulating Whatsapp messages. The end-to-end encryption ensures that no third party gets access to the messages. Hence, the claim that the centre aims to use Whatsapp as a tool of surveillance over citizens is absolutely false!

References: Hindustan Times

Featured Image Source: Republic World

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