To ensure traceability without breaking encryption, Govt ask WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint messages


New Delhi:To ensure traceability of messages shared on WhatsApp without breaking or compromising encryption, the Government of India has asked Facebook owned messaging platform to digitally fingerprint messages.

Because of this The Indian government might finally have a way around WhatsApp’s issue of not violating end-to-end encryption — with fingerprints.

It will allow the government and WhatsApp to pinpoint who sent which message, without having to read its contents.

The government had first demanded traceability of WhatsApp messages last year after misinformation and rumours around child kidnappings on the platform led to a series of lynchings across India in 2018. WhatsApp told Medianama that they “have nothing new to add to what we [they] have previously said on this”.

Possible ways WhatsApp can fingerprint messages:

1. Users can make messages either public (media) or private (P2P message). The default setting for all messages should be private.

2. The original sender/creator of the message should have the power to allow for a message to be forwarded (and made public).

3. When a creator makes a message public, the message gets a unique ID, which gets tagged with the creators ID.

4. Allow users to report forwarded/public messages as misinformation, which can then be reviewed by WhatsApp.

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