According to new reports, the Kupwara district in India has mandated the registration of WhatsApp news groups.
A circular mandating the registration of "WhatsApp news groups" in the region was issued by the District Magistrate on Tuesday after week-long violent protests in Kupwara. To date, five civilians have been killed in the protests against security forces. The District Magistrate says that these registered WhatsApp groups will be monitored by the authorities for "provoking the youth" and "creating law and order problems." The group administrators will be held responsible and will be dealt with "under law" for what is being shared in their groups. All administrators of WhatsApp news groups in the district are required to register their group within 10 days. The circular also instructed government employees to refrain from commenting on the new rule. This move comes as the state government of Jammu and Kashmir lifted a six-day suspension of mobile internet; the ban was lifted on Monday, April 18th.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp completed its rollout of end-to-end encryption across its platform and all of its apps. On April 5, roughly a year and a half after WhatsApp started its implementation of end-to-end encryption, the company announced that it had completed "full end-to-end encryption." WhatsApp said that the last piece of the puzzle was securing cross-platform video communications, but this too is now encrypted. "From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats," explained WhatsApp. With end-to-end encryption, users know their communications are secure, as not even WhatsApp can access their data.
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