Is WhatsApp the glue holding your conversations with your loved ones far away together? Is it the place where you have managed to keep in touch with your long-last school, college buddies? Well, if that’s the case. Then, here’s a heartbreaking news for you.
Next Wednesday i.e. 29th June would see the Indian Supreme Court hearing a petition seeking a ban on the popular messaging app, WhatsApp.
Sudhir Yadav, a 27 years old Haryana-based right-to-information (RTI) activist, has filed a petition seeking a ban on the messaging app on the argument that the platform’s end-to-end encryption is providing terrorists an easy way of communication that is impossible for the government agencies to intercept. Thus, posing a massive threat to India’s and the world’s safety on the whole.
The petition filed states that from April this year, WhatsApp has started enabling every message sent and received on its platform with 256-bit encryption that is impossible for even the government security agencies to break into. Adding to this is the woe that even if under some special circumstances the government asks WhatsApp to break through an individual’s message on the platform and hand over its contents to the government, it won’t be able to produce the same as even it does not have the decryption keys.
According to Sudhir, this gives a leverage to the terrorists to use the popular messaging platform to plan and plot their inhuman and unlawful activities secretly, without coming under the government’s scanner.
The petition filed also carries the name of some other popular messaging platforms such as Viber, Hike, Secure Chat and a few others, who also according to Sudhir are making use of high encryption and possess a threat to the country’s security.
Yadav’s PIL also mentions that in order to decrypt a WhatsApp message one needs a 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, which becomes a far-fetched task for even a super computer. According to him, a single 256-bit encrypted message would end up taking hundreds of years to decrypt because of WhatsApp encryption policy.
What is going to be WhatsApp’s fate is something we will have to wait and watch till next Wednesday. Keep watching this space for more updates on the issue.
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