To intercept encrypted calls and messages on platforms like WhatsApp, the government has proposed new legislation

As part of a proposed new law, the Indian government would be able to access your private communications on services like WhatsApp, Telegram, Google Meet, Signal, etc.

The government wants to crack the encryption used by WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, among other over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps, according to a new draught telecommunications bill that was uploaded on Wednesday.

Broadcasting, electronic mail, voice mail, video and audio communication services, and other similar internet offerings are all included under the umbrella term of “telecommunication services” as defined by the bill.

The government of India wants to hear what people think about the proposal.

Users with a modern understanding of the importance of protecting their personal information will always prefer using services that employ end-to-end encryption. Because of this, businesses like Meta will spend a tonne of money promoting the fact that their services support this feature. Due to the encrypted nature of their communications, platforms like Signal and Telegram were able to flourish and steal a significant share of the IM market from WhatsApp.

The industry that currently places a premium on user safety and data privacy would be profoundly affected by the proposed law.

In the event of a public emergency or “in the interest of public safety,” the draught allows for the state and/or federal government to bypass encryption.

The government could gain access to all encrypted messages, phone calls, videos, and more if any service were added to the definition. On the “occurrence of any public emergency or in the interest of public safety,” the government or any of its representatives may demand access under Section 24 of the draught. How the tech industry reacts if this draught is approved remains to be seen.

To stay in compliance, WhatsApp and Signal would have to stop using encryption for their messages. They could also choose to leave the Indian market entirely, like a number of VPN services have already done.

After a law was passed in India earlier this year requiring VPN services to keep logs of user data and share it with authorities upon request, several services left the country. As a form of protest, many VPN services stopped offering their services within India, and some even withdrew entirely from the country.