The Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Haryana-based activist Sudhir Yadav to ban social messaging application WhatsApp. His reasoning included that it is a threat to national security as it enables terrorists to communicate given its end-to-end encryption. The apex court asked Yadav to approach the Centre or any of the telecom disputes tribunals including TDSAT.
Yadav, however, says he has previously written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the ministry of communications and it but received no reply.
The petition by the Right to Information activist stated, “”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.”
To decrypt any message on WhatsApp you 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—which is impossible for even a computer.
Although the petition specifies WhatsApp, other instant messaging services like Hike, Viber and Secure Chat are also encrypting messages.