WhatsApp won’t be banned, Supreme Court dismisses petition

The Supreme Court of India on 29 June 2016 dismissed a petition seeking to place a ban on social media apps that are specific to IMs and other features, like WhatsApp and Viber.

The PIL was filed by the Haryana-based RTI activist Sudhir Yadav, who claimed that end-to-end encryption used in these mediums enables terrorists a means to communicate instantly without any specific monitoring system.

The petition also claimed that WhatsApp does not even have the decryption keys, and they can read the messages even if they were asked to hand over the communications to the government.

Since the claims regarding WhatsApp’s inability to decrypt the messages in time have been completely dismissed by the company, the Supreme Court of India took some consideration of the matter before rejecting it. After dismissing the petition, the court asked Yadav to approach Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

The company has been under similar scrutiny in the past by various groups of activists for reasons other than terrorism, like privacy and security. It also faced massive opposition for the same. The recent alleged rape video also had raised some questions. But in all the matters petitioned, various judicial bodies have ruled in their favour.