tech2 News StaffJan 08, 2019 10:10:50 IST
Last month, a group of Israeli researchers from two NGOs had found dozens of active WhatsApp groups where the members were frequently sharing messages containing images or videos with sexual abuse of children. One of them had said that "it is a disaster: this sort of material was once mostly found on the darknet, but now it's on WhatsApp."
Now, according to a report by The Economic Times, a significant number of Indian WhatsApp users were sharing child pornography.
The Chief Marketing Officer of Israeli online safety startup AntiToxin Technologies Roi Carthy said, "We did in-fact find Indian users and groups that were disseminating child pornography. I don’t have an exact number, but there was a considerable amount of participants with "+91" as the (India) international access code for the phone numbers that identified them as participants in these."
TechCrunch had found out that, some third-party apps which provide links to join WhatsApp groups also have sections for content which is flagged as adult. This was being used to share child pornography on the messaging platform.
Here is the link to the report by the two Israeli groups.
This is what is going on, in the face of end-to-end encryption, which has been there since 2016. The feature is meant to offer privacy from any potential cybersecurity threats or government surveillance. At the same time, it means that unlawful activity cannot be tracked.
While the company says that it has a "has a zero-tolerance policy around child sexual abuse," it is being criticised largely for not acting on it promptly.
It also claims to have banned as many as 1,30,000 accounts in 10-days, recently, for violating its policies against child exploitation.
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