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Supreme Court: Supreme Court to hear petition seeking ban on WhatsApp - Times of India

GURGAON: The

Supreme Court

will hear next Wednesday a petition seeking a ban on

WhatsApp

on the ground that the messaging platform's end-to-end encryption gives terrorists a means of communication that is impossible to intercept.

Filed by Sudhir

Yadav

, a Haryana-based right-to-information (RTI) activist, the petition said

WhatsApp

has from April started to enable its every message with 256-bit encryption that cannot be broken into.

"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.

Seeking a ban on

WhatsApp

in India, Yadav said 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.

The petition said that in order to decrypt any message on

WhatsApp

, one would 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, which is almost impossible for even a super computer.

Decrypting a single 256-bit encrypted message would take hundreds of years, Yadav said.

WhatsApp leads messaging apps globally

London, May 25 (IANS) Instant messaging app WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app all over the world and is used in 109 countries, or 55.6 percent of the world, a new report said on Wednesday.

Other messaging platforms such as Hike, Secure Chat,

Viber

and a few others are also using high encryption and constitute a threat to national security, the petition said.

Yadav, 27, told

IANS

that he had written letters to the

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)

and the

Ministry of Communications

and IT before filing the petition, but received no reply.

The apex court is now scheduled to hear his public interest litigation (PIL) petition on June 29.

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