WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging service in the world, is likely to be banned in India as it poses a threat to national security.
In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Sudhir Yadav, an RTI activist from Haryana, it is said that the End-to-End encryption (E2E) currently being used by WhatsApp, is making it easy for terrorist groups to communicate with each other without being tracked by the police.
Even if WhatsApp was asked to break through an individual’s message to hand over the data to the government, it too would fail as it does not have the decryption keys either ~ Sudhir Yadav in his petition
Whatsapp introduced the 256-bit encryption back in April, in lights of the FBI-Apple case regarding unlocking a terrorist’s iPhone. Even though the stand that messaging services and smartphone manufacturers take regarding the user’s privacy is good, it also benefits the terrorists and other illegal groups to communicate without being traced.
This means that terrorists might as well be planning attacks on the country safely over a free messaging service such as WhatsApp, and the authorities have got no way of tapping into the conversation
In the PIL, Yadav states that it takes 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,570,985,008,687,907,853,269,984,665,640,564,039,457,584,007,913,129,639,935 key combinations in order to decrypt WhatsApp’s encryption technology and that it will take hundreds of years for a supercomputer to achieve that.
Apart from WhatsApp, the PIL also names a few other messaging services like Hike, Secure Chat, Viber that uses high-level encryption mechanisms.
Will this be the end of the messaging giant in India? Wait until June 29, as that is when a Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice Of India will hear the Public Interest Litigation.