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IIT-M professor suggests simple solution to combat fake news on WhatsApp

The computer science professor has suggested that the contact number of the originator of a WhatsApp message should tail it when forwarded

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Photo: Reuters

At a time when the Central government and messaging service are at loggerheads on making messages traceable to combat fake news, a computer science professor has suggested a simple and effective solution.

V Kamakoti, a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras and a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), has come out with the suggestion that the contact number of the originator of a message should tail it when forwarded.

"When somebody creates a message and when encrypt and send the message, along with it, add the author's phone number as part of the message. It will go whenever the message is forwarded and at any point of time when I read a message, I know who the author is. It cannot be edited, considering it is encrypted. It can be edited only if you copy the content and send it, and then it becomes your own responsibility," said Kamakoti.

"There is no need for WhatsApp to breach its privacy policy. They just need to add this feature to the app so that the receiver will know from whom it has originally come from. It is a simple method to avoid a lot of issues that fake messages are creating at present".

The Madras High Court, which has also been hearing a public interest litigation seeking the Court's direction to mandate linking of an identity proof when a user registers a new email ID, recently directed WhatsApp to seek Kamakoti's help. Kamakoti said that he had an interaction with the major last month.

First Published: Mon, July 01 2019. 15:29 IST