Russian interference in the US elections via Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica data breach. “Fake news” entering the lexicon. Data security and privacy becoming the need of the hour. Mob violence sparked off by rumours and spread via WhatsApp forwards. A growing drive towards data localisation. The past two years have shaken the world, with governments in India and elsewhere sitting up and taking notice of social media and internet companies. More specifically, trying to rein in and regulate them—ensuing in standoffs with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others. But Virag Gupta is way ahead of the curve.
Meet the man who took WhatsApp to the Supreme Court
Virag Gupta and others have spent years crusading against what they see as a lack of regulation when it comes to online businesses operating in India—an arena of policy that's seeing legal battles rapidly flare up
In 2012, RSS member KN Govindacharya and Gupta, a lawyer, filed a petition against companies such as Facebook and Google in the Delhi High Court
Since then, Gupta has joined in a series of legal actions on how internet businesses should be regulated in India
It's a thorny issue, and one that's pitted governments and some legal activists against companies like WhatsApp in recent years
There have been wins and losses on each side, and the battle to decide the future of the digital world, in India and elsewhere, is far from over