WhatsApp groups in India found spreading child pornography

WhatsApp groups in India found spreading child pornography

Israeli online safety startup found dozens of WhatsApp groups in India with Child Pornography

WhatsApp is being used to circulate child pornography in India, Israeli online safety startup AntiToxin Technologies revealed. The company found that several Indian WhatsApp users and WhatsApp groups are among those who spread child pornography hiding behind the company's end-to-end encryption, ET reports.

WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the person you're communicating with can read what's sent. Nobody in between, not even WhatsApp, can see or read the messages.

"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 groups," AntiToxin's CMO Roi Carthy told ET.

AntiToxin Technologies conducted its research on public WhatsApp groups. It has become easier to become a member of such groups as you only need an invite link.  WhatsApp introduced an invite link feature for groups in late 2016.

"In our opinion, hiding behind 'encryption' as an excuse for not monitoring these groups in particular is completely invalid and disingenuous," Carthy added.

"We deploy our most advanced technology, including artificial intelligence to scan profile photos and actively ban accounts suspected of sharing this vile content. We also respond to law enforcement requests in India and around the world," a WhatsApp spokesperson said in an email. "Sadly, because both app stores and communications services are being misused to spread abusive content, technology companies must work together to stop it."

Also Read: How does WhatsApp end-to-end encryption work