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WhatsApp message tracing easily possible without diluting end-to-end encryption, says IIT professor

A professor asserts that 'WhatsApp messages can be traced without diluting end-to-end encryption. The cited source has also explained how this can be achieved. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Published: July 11, 2019 1:30 PM IST
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With India pressing for traceability of WhatsApp messages to check the spread of fake news, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras stressed that the issue can be easily resolved easily. The professor further asserted that without diluting end-to-end encryption, the messages can be traced. It will reportedly not affect the privacy of users, the cited source added.

“If WhatsApp says it is not technically possible to show the originator of the message, I can show that it is possible,” said V. Kamakoti, while delivering a lecture at Indian Council of World Affairs here. “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 said. He further added that as per court ruling, those who forward a harmful message can also be held responsible in certain cases.

“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 said. To recall, India started pressing for traceability of WhatsApp messages after several lynching cases last year. The cases were linked to rumors spread on the app.

Besides, WhatsApp will soon let users edit media right from the chat window, as per a report. The company is said to be testing a new feature called Quick Edit Media Shortcut. It will help users edit a media file from a personal chat or group chat. The features will also eliminate the need to edit media file on a separate app and re-upload it to chats. It is worth noting that the feature will not only simplify editing media files but also save storage.

Separately, WhatsApp might also soon roll out a new feature to check how many times a message has been forwarded. The feature was first spotted in Android Beta 2.19.80 in March. Recently, an Indian Twitter user shared a screenshot of the feature working for him. The company introduced ‘forwarding’ label last year to help curb fake news.

With inputs from IANS

  • Published Date: July 11, 2019 1:30 PM IST