People are check mobile devices whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing WhatsApp’s logo in this arranged photograph in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

India Asks WhatsApp To Set Up Local Entity, Trace Origin Of Fake Messages

In a stern message to WhatsApp, the government today said the messaging platform will need to set up a local entity and find a tech solution to trace the origin of fake messages on its platform.

Information-Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, after meeting WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels, said the Facebook-owned messaging app has contributed significantly to India's digital story but it needs to find solutions to deal with "sinister developments" like mob lynching and revenge porn.

“I had a productive meeting with Chris Daniels, the CEO of WhatsApp. 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, you must find solutions to these challenges, which are downright criminal and violation of Indian laws,” he said.

Prasad said he has asked WhatsApp to set up a corporate entity in India, appoint a grievance officer and find a technical solution to tracing the origin of fake messages on its platform.

"I flagged in particular, which I had said earlier also, it does not take rocket science to locate a message being circulated in hundreds and thousands... you must have a mechanism to find a solution," he said adding that 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.

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