Video and voice calls may be banned in India

It is reported that video call apps operating unrestricted in the country may be banned while implementing new IT laws. Reports in this regard have been released by the national media. An unconfirmed report said the government is moving to regulate calling applications like Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

It is learnt that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is considering bringing video calling applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype under the purview. The Economic Times reported that the measure was being taken in the interest of national security and dot sought feedback from the Union Home Ministry before preparing a licensing system for apps.

Licensing should also be implemented for video calling apps to operate in the country. Video calling apps should come under the dot just like telecom companies. A government official said that video calling apps should also provide information to law enforcement agencies when required, as telecom companies do.

Meanwhile, the government is at loggerheads with Facebook-owned WhatsApp and social media platforms over providing users’ calling and messaging information. WhatsApp and the government are fighting a legal battle against the messaging application’s revised privacy policy.

Telecom companies had already asked TRAI to regulate voice and video calling apps. But Trai had said that such a ban was not possible. With the advent of video calling apps, revenue for telecom companies has fallen sharply. Most people now use apps for messages and calls.

Dot authorities said they had sought feedback from the Home Ministry about regulating video calling applications a week ago. However, national media reports that most officials of the dot responded that they did not agree with TRAI’s move.

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