ICT Minister Corrects Misinformation on New WhatsApp Rules

Tuesday 5 March, 2024

Minister for ICT and Member for South Bougainville Hon. Timothy Masiu, MP

The Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Hon. Timothy Masiu, has corrected misinformation circulating of new WhatsApp rules’, allegedly claimed to have been issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

It was claimed  the Ministry would commence monitoring of WhatsApp calls for both voice and video.

In a statement on Thursday 28 February, the ICT Minister emphasized that there has been no government decisions nor regulations to monitor and deprive rights of citizens to express their views.

“It must be noted that the said claims are false. WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted Social Media Application and to access one’s personal messages, you. will need access to the persons device and/or sim card.”

Minister Masiu has urged citizens not to take heed of such false information and encourage them to seek further clarification from his Ministry- and Department of ICT.

“Any official statement is to come from an official letter head, signed off, and stamped and of course will be made accessible through the Department website. I urge our people to be responsible and check for authenticity before reading and sharing.”

He said the Ministry is very mindful of Papua New Guinea’s   Constitution of the people’s right to freedom of expression and speech, and will not do anything to infringe on such fundamental freedoms unless of course they are against the Law.

Mr Masiu reminded social media users to be responsible stating his ministry will act accordingly and by law to take action on those who abuse social media. such as the fake news on the government monitoring WhatsApp with an intend to arrest people that speak against the government.

(Media Release: https://info.gov.pg/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Media-Statement-ICT-Minister-Corrects-Misinformation-on-New-Whatsapp-Rules.pdf)

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