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Supreme Court dismisses petition seeking ban on WhatsApp

       The Supreme Court has refused to ban WhatsApp and has asked the petitioner to approach the government.A petition had been filed in the country's apex court seeking ban on the messenger service WhatsApp.

According to the petition, that WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption feature poses a security risk to the country. An apex court bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice AM Khanwilkar has asked the petitioner to approach Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

The petition, filed by RTI activist Sudhir Yadav said that WhatsApp and other messenger services violate provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Information Technology Act, 2000.

Other than WhatsApp, the petition also names other messaging platforms like Hike, Viber and Secure chat.

"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," the petitioner said.

In his petition, Yadav further adds that terrorists and criminals can easily communicate on WhatsApp and make plans which are impossible to access even by supercomputers as decrypting a single 256-bit encrypted message would take hundreds of years.

In an update in April, WhatsApp introduced 256-bit encryption for all its users.

He said this was similar to what the government insisted vis-a-vis BlackBerry as well.

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