A WhatsApp message is being circulated on social media with the claim that the Government of India is monitoring all forms of communications, both online and telephonic. The message asks the readers to refrain from forwarding messages related to politics or religion.
The Logical Indian received a request to verify the claims.
Earlier the English version of a similar forward had gone viral.
"From tomorrow onwards there are new communication regulations. All calls are recorded. All phone call recordings saved. WhatsApp is monitored. Twitter is monitored. Facebook is monitored All social media and forums are monitored. Inform those who do not know. Your devices are connected to ministry systems. Take care not to send unnecessary messages. Inform your children, Relatives and friends about this to take care. Don't forward any posts or videos etc., you receive regarding politics/present situation about Government/PM etc. Police have put out a notification termed ..Cyber Crime … and action will be taken…just don't delete … Inform your friends & others too. Writing or forwarding any msg on any political & religious debate is an offence now….arrest without warrant… This is very serious, plz let it be known to all our groups and individual members as group admin can b in deep trouble. Take care not to send unnecessary messages. Inform everyone about this to take care. Please share it; it's very much true. Groups please be careful," the message reads.
Government of India is monitoring all forms of communications, both online and telephonic.
The claim is false.
The Fact check wing of Press Information Bureau debunked the WhatsApp Forward back in March 2020.
End To End Encryption
All the messages on the app are secured with end to end encryption. Which essentially means that the platform will prevent anybody from reading or secretly modifying the data being shared other than by the true sender and recipient(s). The messages are encrypted by the sender and nobody else can decrypt them. The data is stored in an encrypted format.
According to WhatsApp, unsolicited messages from unauthorized third parties come in different forms such as spam, hoax and phishing messages. These messages are sent with the intention of deceiving the user and prompting them to act in a certain way.
WhatsApp lists the following characteristics of a hoax message:
(1) The message content includes instructions to forward the message. The viral forward does ask the user to forward it to other people.
(2) The message claims you can avoid punishment, like account suspension, if you forward the message. In this case, the forward talks about government surveillance on private conversations.
(3) The message content includes a reward or gift from WhatsApp or another person.
(4) The sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp. In this case, the message does not mention any legitimate source of the information mentioned in the forward.
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Also Read: Fact Check: WhatsApp Forwards Claim Scamsters Pretending As Home Affairs Officials Are Looting Houses