WhatsApp has lately been very loud about its dedication to user privacy, especially for personal accounts. However, one story reported by WABetaInfo seemed to raise our eyebrows despite the circumstances being quite polarising.
A judge from India gave a verdict earlier this week ordering WhatsApp to ban all user accounts that shared a certain pirated material. The court order also demanded the firm to take similar action against all other accounts reported for piracy reasons.
This all drama began when a production company Zee Entertainment Entreprises revealed that its new film, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, had been pirated online with copies being found on WhatsApp and Telegram.
The firm released a statement saying that the officials were actively tracking down all phone numbers involved in sharing the illegally acquired film. Of course, this was followed by Zee Entertainment taking this battle to the court by suing a huge number of websites that illegally shared the material.
The firm then went ahead to track 8 phone numbers and sent them to Facebook for enquiry about the issue. However, Facebook did not reply and have not till now.
The Court then found that Zee Entertainment Entreprises was right with the judge ordering users to immediately stop storing, reproducing, communicating, disseminating, circulating, copying, selling, or offering for sale any copies of the film, via WhatsApp or any other service.
The judge, Justice Sanjeev Narula the ordered WhatsApp to suspend two accounts that were previously identified after sending the evidence to Facebook. The ban also included other accounts that were found with the same offence.
It is not exactly clear how the Court managed to find evidence. So, it definitely raises the question of how reliable WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is if chats from personal accounts can be this easily tracked.