The news that is making a lot of headlines recently is all about banning one of the most traffic generating social media app ‘WhatsApp’. The government may stop the use of WhatsApp as the prevalent messing app is extensively being used by anti-national forces to stir up discontent in disturbed areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and to spread communal content as well as rumors.
The banning issue was brought up in a meeting chaired by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, where it was emphasized that arrested terrorists had told the Jammu and Kashmir police that they were taking instructions from across the border via WhatsApp calls during the Nagrota army camp attack in 2016, in which seven army men were killed.
A source told a leading media house that Internet-based services that engage into end-to-end encryption make the work of security agencies harder as they cannot be cracked, and he cited the example of some countries, including those from the Gulf, where both WhatsApp voice and video calls are banned.
It is improbable that WhatsApp would be willing to compromise its end-to-end encryption if the government were to ask for access. However, it is very significant for the Ministry of Telecom and the Ministry of Home Affairs to formulate a policy that would bring WhatsApp under Indian laws, even though it is being ministered in another country.