Inside Story

Why is WhatsApp suing the Indian government?

Messaging service launches legal challenge against new digital media rules in world’s largest democracy.

A court battle is pitting WhatsApp against the world’s largest democracy.

India is the messaging service’s largest market with nearly 400 million users.

However, like many online platforms, it has struggled to control the spread of misinformation.

India recently passed new rules forcing social media companies to identify the first person to send a message.

WhatsApp has argued this goes against the privacy rights in the country’s constitution, adding it may have to stop encrypting messages.

India’s government recently pressured Facebook and Twitter to remove critical posts.

So is free speech under threat? And how much is the debate driven by politics?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Itika Sharma Punit – Co-editor of Quartz India

Catalina Goanta – Co-manager, Maastricht Law and Tech Lab at Maastricht University

Karuna Nundy – Advocate to the Supreme Court of India