Is Whatsapp a security threat to India? SC to decide today
Supreme Court will decide on the ban of messaging service Whatsapp on Wednesday, after RTI activist, Sudhir Yadav filed a petition that questioned the security of the country against terror attacks.
Earlier this year, Whatsapp enabled a 256-bit End-to-End (E2E) encryption policy which only enables the sender and receiver of messages to access them.
This kind of encryption brings messaging apps like Whatsapp, Hike, Viber and other apps that use this encryption on par with military standards.
Key combinations to decode these encryptions would include, 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, which according to technology experts could take 8 to 10 years to decode.
An IANS report quoted Yadav speaking about this issue, “Any terrorist or criminal can safely chat on WhatsApp and make plans to harm the country and the Indian intelligence agencies would not be able to tap into their conversations to take necessary actions.”
But the current laws on encryption is considered ‘weak,’ according to technology experts.
Article 69 of the Information Technology Act of 2000 allows for a 40-bit encryption in any messaging service. Therefore, WhatsApp, could technically be flouting Indian laws.
A 40-bit encryption can be easily decoded at any stage during the messaging process which means pictures and personal messages can be accessible to all agencies involved in the messaging process.