The Facebook-owned platform has reportedly argued that the provision is unconstitutional and against people’s fundamental right to privacy as underlined by the Supreme Court decision.
WhatsApp, a messaging service, has filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court contesting the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which require intermediary platforms to establish measures for "identifying of the first originator of the information," according to Indian Express.
According to reports, the Facebook-owned platform has argued that the provision is illegal and infringes on people's fundamental right to privacy, as affirmed by the Supreme Court.
WhatsApp also claimed that the provision violates the concept of end-to-end encryption by requiring private corporations to acquire and preserve "who-said-what and who-shared-what" information.
As a result, it asked for the provision to be declared unconstitutional. Direction was also sought to prohibit the rule from taking effect, as well as to protect its personnel from criminal punishment for non-compliance. The deadline for intermediaries to comply with the revised 2021 Rules was May 25.
Traceability will "give over the names of those who shared anything even if they did not produce it, shared it out of worry, or sent it to check its accuracy," according to WhatsApp.
"Innocent people could become caught up in investigations, or even go to jail, for sharing something that later becomes harmful in the eyes of a government," according to the theory.
According to WhatsApp, such a strategy would have a "chilling effect on what individuals say even in private settings, infringing on widely acknowledged values of free expression and human rights." It's also stated that it "evaluates and responds to lawful law enforcement demands" by releasing "limited categories of information available to us, in accordance with applicable law and policy."
WhatsApp LLC claims that the tracibility requirement infringes the basic rights to privacy and freedom of speech and expression protected by Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, as well as Sections 69A and 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. WhatsApp has indicated that the need is in place to allow the first originator to be identified.
According to WhatsApp, requiring the identification of the first source of information in India might put journalists, civil society activists, and political activists in danger. No other country, according to the petition, requires intermediates to update their systems in order to identify the first originator of information on end-to-end encrypted messaging.
WhatsApp further claims that the rule is in violation of "Data minimisation" principles, which state that an online business should only collect and keep user data that is necessary to offer its service in order to reduce the danger of unauthorised individuals obtaining such data.