Disinformation about the new IT law claims that sending defamatory messages via WhatsApp may result in jail, although this is not part of the new law.
The new law requires messaging apps to trace' chats. The platforms must also designate a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person, and a resident grievance officer as part of the legislation's additional due diligence duties.
On May 25, PTI reported that WhatsApp approached the Delhi High Court against the new rules. The company petitioned that users' right to privacy on its messaging service would be violated through the new guidelines, and the firm was against the traceability rule. Under the new guidelines, MeitY stressed tracing the message line from the originator to the receiver and providing voluntary verification for user identity.
This lead to some contentions being made on social media regarding the government and WhatsApp. One such viral message said that WhatsApp had introduced new communication rules that allow the government to record calls and monitor all messages. According to the viral post, the person could be detained without a warrant if the rules were not followed. It claimed a third red tick represented that the government received the message, and an action would be initiated against the user. The claims made in the fake message, however, are not covered by the IT Rules. It appears that the incorrect information was sent out to spread false information about the new rules.
Whatsapp has challenged the government on the traceability clause claiming it to be "unconstitutional and against the fundamental right to privacy." It has not implemented the new rules. On its FAQ page on "What is traceability and why does WhatsApp oppose it," Whatsapp explains that the clause breaks the end-to-end encryption. It further violates human rights and places innocent people at risk.