The Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought a ban on messeger apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Hike as they were encrypted end to end. The petition had also said the private key to the apps should be made available in times of need.
Activist Sudhir Yadav had argued that the apps would prevent the police from investigating crimes â€” especially terrorism-related cases â€” and were thus threats to national security.
The apex court, while dismissing the petition, said the petitioner should file his complaint with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), according to NDTV.
The petition reportedly said decrypting such messages would take 100 years even by super-computers, and security agencies on the trail of terrorits have admitted to the difficulties of 256-bit-encrypted apps.
Concern over ecrypted apps have been raised internationally as well, especially in light of multiple terror attacks by the Islamic State group. The terrorists in the Paris attacks, for instance, are said to have used WhatsApp or Telegram.
Telegram has come under fire repeatedly for being the Isis' main communication medium. The messages on Telegram self-destruct after a while, making it nearly impossible for investigation agencies to track them.
"In America they started to refer to Telegram as 'ISIS's preferred messaging app.' But in reality there are many more legitimate users," Telegram's creator, Pavel Durov, 31, had told CNN in an interview. Durov also said banning the apps or decrypting them for the intelligence agencies was not the answer to tracking terrorism.
Apple Inc's refusal to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino attacker for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had also led to a controversy recently. The FBI had later withdrawn its case against Apple as it had found private parties that could unlock the phone.