New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the ongoing controversy over the I-T rules, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday once again clarified that the central government respects the Right to Privacy, adding that the new regulations won't impact the ordinary users of WhatsApp.

In a statement, Prasad, who also holds the I-T and Electronics Ministry portfolio, said that new regulations only aim to "find out who started the message that led to commissioning of specific crimes" to save the ordinary users of social media.

"The new Rules are only designed to prevent abuse and misuse of social media. The government welcomes criticism including the right to ask questions. The Rules only empower the ordinary users of social media when they become victims of abuse and misuse," Prasad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

This is for the second straight day when Prasad has issued a clarification over the new I-T rules. Slamming WhatsApp for challenging the guidelines, Prasad had said that the guidelines will help in the investigation of "very serious offences" related to the sovereignty of India or public order.

The Union Minister had said further that WhatsApp's attempt to portray the guidelines "as contrary to the right to privacy is misguided", adding that the central government has no intention to violate the Right of Privacy.

"Such requirements are only in case when the message is required for prevention, investigation or punishment of very serious offences related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order, or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material," he had said in a statement.

Prasad's response comes after WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court challenging the government's new digital rules, arguing that the requirement for the company to provide access to encrypted messages will break privacy protections.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma