“On the issue of traceability, I have conveyed to them that traceability shall be their job," Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said in an interaction with the media after meeting with WhatsApp's global head Will Cathcart on July 26 to discuss issues of traceability, appointment of an India-specific grievance officer, and digital payments. "But in the event that the WhatsApp platform is thought to be abused by rogue, terrorist, extremist elements, by repeating some kind of recirculation of messages, then there must be a mechanism whereby those can be traced to enforce appropriate law and order, and safety and security of the country," he said. "For this I have already given, told them very clearly that the mechanism for it will be developed by them and the request for that will also come from appropriately high level so that there’s no tinkering in between. I am very happy to note that the CEO has assured me that they will take prompt action in such matters and address them.” According to WhatsApp, there are 400 million WhatsApp users in India, the company’s largest market. He also said that there must be an India-specific grievance officer based out of India. Right now, WhatsApp has a grievance officer for India, Komal Lahiri, but she is based out of the US. Prasad's statement led to numerous media reports that stated that WhatsApp had assured India of “prompt action” on traceability, in direct conflict with WhatsApp’s position to MeitY that traceability would…
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