Supreme Court To Hear Plea For Banning WhatsApp In India
Facebook owned WhatsApp is facing a major legal test in India, which is its prime market and has the most users from the world. The popular cross-platform messaging App is being sued by a RTI activist for aiding and abetting terrorists who wants Indian Supreme Court to ban it.
The Indian Supreme Court will be examining whether WhatsApp should be banned following a Public Interest Litigation filed by Haryana based RTI activist Sudhir Yadav.
Yadav PIL petition claims that ever since WhatsApp started to enable its every message with 256-bit encryption since April, it cannot be broken into and that is abetting terrorist who pass on important messages through it.
“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,” Yadav said in his petition.
Yadav’s PIL states that the Indian authorities would need 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 break the WhatsApp encryption and that is pretty impossible even for a supercomputer.
Yadav said that before approaching the Indian supreme court, he had approached the Indian telecommunications watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Ministry of Communications and IT for banning WhatsApp but had not received any reply.
The apex court is now scheduled to hear his public interest litigation (PIL) petition on 29 June. Given Indian Supreme Court’s record in dealing with PIL’s, Yadav’s petition may be headed to dustbin but there is a chance that the Supreme Court may call top WhatsApp officials to depose before it or hand over the encryption keys to Indian authorities.