Last week, the government almost expressed its weakness about verifying offensive content uploaded on WhatsApp, the online messaging platform. The reason behind this expression is due to the fact that the messages on the platform are end-to-end encrypted and no 3rd party can authorize them.
The government can take the bull by the horns once the content is filed as offensive since it has laws for the same. The information was given by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Electronics and Information Technology Minister, to Raj Babbar, the Congress member, in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The member had inquired if the government has any strategy to end sharing of offensive videos via WhatsApp and mobiles. In the reply, Prasad mentioned laws that cope with offences of transmitting or publishing offensive contents. He acknowledged that cases of offensive videos being uploaded via smartphone and shared via WhatsApp have been observed. But he expressed his weakness by saying that messages are encrypted end-to-end and cannot be viewed by a 3rd party.
Due to its massive user base, WhatsApp is frequently targeted by fraudsters and scams. Last week, the app was being utilized to broadcast a new scam in the U.K. This is done with the aim of tricking consumers into revealing details of their bank account. Action Fraud, the cybercrime and fraud centre of the U.K., has subjected an alert against the current fraud, coupled with a screenshot of the false WhatsApp text that is being utilized for the same purpose.
The message, which is supposedly signed by “WhatsApp Group,” reads, “Our records indicate that your WhatsApp trial service is exceeding the one year period. At the completion of the trial period, your WhatsApp will no longer be able to send or receive messages. To continue using WhatsApp without interruption, we need you to subscribe for any of our subscription periods.”
The message then gives a link to a user portal for customers to log in with their mobile number for updating their “payment data.” A same scam was reported in previous month, tricking consumers into paying fees by citing that their subscription to WhatsApp has been expired.