For the Indian Government, social messaging apps are also giving nightmares like social media. The government has decided to approach the big brother – US who has the skills to snoop on any network anywhere in the world. According to Economic Times, India will ask the US to share its technology on how to decrypt conversations over various services like Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, Wechat and Blackberry messenger while complaining about service providers in US.
India plans to raise the issue at the two day Indo-US Police Chiefs conference in the capital which starts from tomorrow. India plans to tell the US that the messaging services are posing a challenge to security agencies in intercepting and deciphering communications. And India is hoping that US would be sharing its technology on the same.
Besides this India wishes to raise its ongoing concern against the social networking sites that are based in US as the companies have failed to assist the government during times of crisis. “In many instances, hate speeches on various sites have created communal violence within India. Even in such important matters, service providers have refused to remove contents from their servers blocking the same from public viewing citing the legal provisions of the country where their servers are based,” the agenda note circulated by the Union Home Ministry ahead of the conference said.
The nightmares of the government and the IB Chief have increased after it was stated that the recent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh was instigated with the use of social messaging apps. Recently, the IB Chief Asif Ibrahim recommended that popular social networks should be brought under the Indian law.
Speaking at the three-day conference of Directors General of Police (DGPs) in the capital New Delhi, the IB Chief had further added that “keeping the social fabric of the country intact is also a challenge including checking the misuse of the social media.” In his talk he cited a video that was circulated in western Uttar Pradesh fueling communal tension in areas around Muzaffarnagar.
Similar concerns were raised by the Union Home Minister, who once again lamented that “mischievous” use of the social media is sparking off communal trouble, ethnic clashes and reviving militancy in states like Punjab, and said that there was a need to monitor such propaganda over the internet. He also gave the example of Muzaffarnagar riots and raised the need of keeping a check on the medium.
Interestingly, Blackberry – which had resisted earlier – now has a local server in the country and has provided the government access to monitor the BBM conversations and internet service email. The Indian government had been putting pressure on the Canadian company following the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement in 2011 with Blackberry giving up eventually.
Even if US rejects co-operation, India can very well put pressure on the messaging apps who consider India a big market. For the social networks, India has anyways built a Prism-like “Centralized Monitoring System” that is monitoring online activities of netizens. Going further mobile activities would be monitored via the system. However, for deleting content it still has to keep pushing the social networking companies.
Image courtesy: Verge