The Supreme Court also thinks that banning Whatsapp in the country is a ridiculous proposition and has rejected the petition asking the same. Keeping in mind the freedom of expression of the people, the court has thus directed the petitioner to approach the government.
Just about a week ago, reports surfaced that a petition to ban Whatsapp in India has been filed by Sudhir Yadav, a Haryana-based right-to-information(RTI) activist. The petition filed in the apex court was based on a reasoning that we all know was sure to be thrown in the face of the government someday. He believes that Whatsapp’s recent move to enable 256-bit encryption is virtually unbreakable.
While the rest of the world is supporting Whatsapp’s move towards encryption, Yadav believes that it poses a huge threat to the safety of the country. But, even the Supreme Court doesn’t seem to agree with him on the same. He is however insistent that all messaging services including Whatsapp violate provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Information Technology Act, 2000.
Other messaging platforms including Hike, Secure Chat, Viber among others are also under question as they are also highly encrypted and might pose a threat to the safety of the country.
In his petition to the Court he added that,
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.
He believes that the terrorists are open to use the messaging service to plot an attack on the country and we’ll not be able to get ahold on any information regarding the same. And he adds that even if we try to decrypt an end-to-end encrypted message using supercomputers, it would take hundreds of years.
And if you’re high on numbers, then you should know that to decrypt a 256-bit encrypted message we’ll need a whopping 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. (Oh My God!!!)
The Supreme Court has asked Yadav to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
And as also said earlier, if we find ourselves banning internet messaging applications due to the fear of terrorists using them, well, they might as well be succeeding in their mission to sow terror amongst us. So, I totally agree and support the judgment passed by the honorable Supreme Court.