MediaNama got exclusive access to WhatsApp’s response to IIT professor Dr V. Kamakoti’s submission (available below) on enabling traceability on WhatsApp without compromising end-to-end encryption. Submitted by Nilesh Agrawal, a software engineer at WhatsApp, the response argues that Dr Kamakoti’s “proposals would fundamentally change WhatsApp’s platform, fail to achieve their goal and cause significant harm”. Kamakoti had made two proposals in his submission: Make the originator’s number visible to all recipients; or Encrypt the sender’s phone number in the metadata of the message that can be decrypted only by WhatsApp after relevant court orders are produced by the law enforcement agencies Fundamentally change WhatsApp’s platform "force WhatsApp to fundamentally change its platform and wholly undermine its end-to-end encryption as users would be afraid to freely express themselves if their private thoughts would forever be linked to their identities” Proposals not a viable solution to traceability 1. “Neither would correctly identify the originator of unlawful content in the most common ways that internet users share content” "It is common for internet users to copy and paste content obtained from another source. Under both Proposals, [the WhatsApp user] … will be tagged as the originator … even though [s/]he was not the originator.” "Internet is much bigger than WhatsApp, and many people frequently use WhatsApp to share content that they get from many other sources … the Proposal would brand him[/her] as the originator of the content even though [s/]he did not originate it.” "When the person shares [a] screenshot through WhatsApp,…
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