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Supreme Court refuses to hear PIL on WhatsApp encryption

The petitioner contended that end-to-end 256-bit encryption introduced by WhatsApp in April made it impossible to decrypt messages, chat, call, video, images and documents.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 30, 2016 10:32:45 am
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The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL seeking a ban on WhatsApp and other such mobile messenger services for introducing an encryption code that allegedly posed threats to the country’s security.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar suggested Gurugram-based RTI activist Sudhir Yadav could approach the government or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with his plea.

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Yadav claimed that in response to his RTI application to the department of telecommunication, the government said it possessed no information in this regard.

The petitioner contended that end-to-end 256-bit encryption introduced by WhatsApp in April made it impossible to decrypt messages, chat, call, video, images and documents.

He claimed that this would pose a major national security threat to India as terrorists can plan their activities without the knowledge of government agencies.

He sought to maintain a balance where police agencies can get lawful access to data while personal information remains safe.

Besides WhatsApp, many applications such as Secure Chat, LeuPost, Wicker me, Viber, telegram, hike provided similar kind of encryption.

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