Signal Messaging App Not In Compliance With New IT Rules, Say Officials

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The Logical Indian Crew

Signal Messaging App Not In Compliance With New IT Rules, Say Officials

The app, which has over 5 million subscribers and is a significant social media intermediary according to new IT rules, has not submitted the details of the compliance officer to the Centre.

Signal App, an encrypted social messaging app, is not in compliance with new social media and intermediaries rules, said an official, reported Hindustan Times. The app that rose to fame amid the WhatsApp privacy fiasco is likely to be under the Information Technology Act and the provision of safe harbour in it is unlikely to come to its rescue due to non-compliance.

Details Not Shared With Officer

Oficials said that Signal, which is a significant social intermediary as it has over 5 million subscribers, has not shared the details of a compliance officer with the Centre under the new rules.

The new rules also mandate that social media platforms like Signal and WhatsApp share the details of the first originator of a message. "Signal has not complied with the guidelines. Services like iMessage do not fall under the traceability clause since the significant social media intermediaries in the nature of messaging services have to comply," an official told the newspaper.

WhatsApp has challenged the new IT Rules, citing that tracking the first originator of the message would break the end-to-end encryption and dilute user privacy. At least eight parties have approached the different high courts against the new IT rules, saying that IT rules are not applicable to them.

Undermines Privacy

Namrata Maheshwari, an Encyrption Policy Fellow at Access Now, a digital civil rights organisation, said that Signal cannot comply with traceability without weakening the encryption, and if it is forced to break encryption to comply with these unlawful rules, it would undermine the privacy and security for many users in India.

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