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'Sleuths Find it Hard to Crack WhatsApp Info'

Indian security agencies are unable to decrypt some of the communication on platforms like WhatsApp to readable formats for various technical, legal and regulatory reasons, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Parliament on Friday.

Published: 30th April 2016 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2016 06:38 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: Indian security agencies are unable to decrypt some of the communication on platforms like WhatsApp to readable formats for various technical, legal and regulatory reasons, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Parliament on Friday.

“Security/law enforcement agencies face difficulty while dealing with encrypted communications by various application service providers, including end to end encrypted communication message provided by Whatsapp,” he said, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Such applications make use of encryption technology to secure messages. “However, security agencies are able to intercept these encrypted communication services through the lawful interception facilities provided by the telecom service providers,” he said.

According to Prasad, mobile applications like WhatsApp have extraordinary reach in information sharing and dissemination. However, security agencies are not able to decrypt some of encrypted intercepted communication as there are multifarious aspects “such as technical, international relationship, legal and regulatory policy, commercial and security requirements etc,” he added.

The government, he said, regularly interacts with telecom service providers and other stakeholders, including social media providers to address and resolve issues keeping in view security, service and developmental needs of the country.

Recently, Facebook-owned WhatsApp, followed by Viber, introduced end-to-end encryption for all its services, meaning that messages can now be read only by the intended recipients.

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