WhatsApp With India?

Roughly four hundred million people in India use the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp. Now, the country’s ruling party is trying to force WhatsApp to let the government trace and censor messages. The outcome could change digital freedoms in the world’s largest democracy, and could have strong implications for the future of privacy everywhere.

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Chinmayi Arun
    Resident Fellow, Yale University
  • Vindu Goel
    Technology and Business Reporter, The New York Times
  • Seema Mody
    Global Markets Reporter, CNBC

Show Notes

When social media causes real-life dangers, what role should the government play in regulating it? This question is being asked around the world; in India, a decisive moment has arrived. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking to trace and censor private digital communications in the name of national security. Standing in its way is WhatsApp, an American-made, encrypted messaging platform that has become a daily mode of communication for hundreds of millions of Indians. Critics say the BJP’s push is part of a broader consolidation of power and a shift toward ethnonationalism. The digital freedoms of the country’s 1.3 billion people could hang in the balance.

 

From CFR

 

The Link Between More Internet Access and Frequent Internet Shutdowns,” Conor Sanchez

 

Kashmir: What to Know About the Disputed Region,” Lindsay Maizland 

 

Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons,” Zachary Laub

 

Modi’s Thumping Mandate—but for What?,” Alyssa Ayres

 

Read More

 

India Adopts the Tactic of Authoritarians: Shutting Down the Internet,” New York Times 

 

Key Global Takeaways From India’s Revised Personal Data Protection Bill,” Lawfare 

 

India’s Lynching Epidemic and the Problem With Blaming Tech,” Atlantic

 

The Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi,” Wired

 

Coronavirus is Pushing Mass Surveillance in India, and It’s Going to Change Everything,” Vice

 

On Kashmir

 

The Dueling Narratives of India’s Kashmir Crackdown,” Atlantic 

 

What Is End-to-End Encryption? Another Bull’s-Eye on Big Tech,” New York Times 

 

India’s request to WhatsApp for message traceability could impact individual privacy,” Bussiness Today

 

Watch or Listen

 

India’s WhatsApp dilemma,” Al Jazeera

 

How rumors on WhatsApp led to a mob killing in India,” Washington Post

 

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