While the Centre has been pressing social media major WhatsApp to trace the origin of fake news messages, an Indian Institute of Technology-Madras professor has claimed that the same can be done without compromising the end-to-end encryption and users’ privacy.
“If WhatsApp says it is not technically possible to show the originator of the messages, I can show that it is possible,” said Prof V Kamakoti at the Indian Council of World Affairs on Wednesday.
“When a message is sent from WhatsApp, the identity of the originator can also be revealed along with the message. So the message and the identity of the creator can be seen only by the recipient. When that recipient forwards the message, his/her identity can be revealed to the next recipient,” he added.
“In this way, you do not need to break end-to-end encryption and infringe the privacy of anyone and yet make the messages traceable when the investigating agencies want to find out. And this is what we have projected to WhatsApp,” he explained.
The government has been asking WhatsApp to trace the origin of messages that are linked to several mob lynching cases. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has, however, maintained that tracing would dilute its end-to-end encryption and that messages are seen only by the sender and receiver.