Ministers could be banned from using self-destructing messages on Whatsapp or Signal for official business if a legal challenge is successful.Transparency campaigners have sent a letter to the government, arguing that politicians and staff could avoid accountability by using these features.Members of both the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet use Whatsapp and Signal.
The Cabinet Office said records of official communications are “retained in line with guidance”.
- WhatsApp lets messages vanish after seven days
- WhatsApp to limit service to all who reject terms
The legal challenge is brought by campaigning law group Foxglove on behalf of non-profit political campaigners the Citizens.Its letter warns that if a satisfactory response is not received within 14 days, it may proceed to a judicial review.The organisation has previously sent “several” FOI requests seeking disclosure regarding how the government uses instant messaging services.It argues that the ability to remove or delete messages poses serious risks to transparency and democratic accountability.
News Source: BBC News