Guy Asks Indian Supreme Court To Ban Encrypted WhatsApp... Because People Plan Raves With It

from the the-kids-these-days dept

Sudhir Yadav appears to be a bundle of contradictions. He claims to be a "right to information" activist, yet he's now trying to stomp out encryption. He argues that he's addicted to WhatsApp, but he wants the Indian Supreme Court to ban it. He's filed a "public interest" lawsuit with the Supreme Court arguing that (1) he's addicted to WhatsApp because of its recently implemented end-to-end encryption and (2) that it should be banned because bad people might use it to, you know, plans raves and stuff:
Yadav claimed that he has only filed the petition because recently introduced WhatsApp encryption makes it impossible for the government to intercept and read messages exchanged between “suspicious people”.

“I know WhatsApp is a great app and I spend hours on it but this is about you and me,” he said. “If we know that information on drugs and rave parties is going through WhatsApp and the government can’t decrypt these messages, then it’s harmful to the country.”
And, yes, he also tossed in the "fear! terrorists!" argument as well, because of course. And it's not just WhatsApp. He also wants a variety of other messaging platforms, such as Telegram, Hike and Viber, banned for using encryption (even though the implementations on many of those platforms is questionable). Of course, we don't need to go through all the reasons why this is dumb. Strong encryption is much more likely to help protect the private information of the general populace from people looking to do bad things with it than it is to help terrorists in their planning. Could terrorists use it? Yes, just as terrorists can use other neutral, but important technologies for bad purposes. But we don't go and ban them entirely just because they can be misused.

Meanwhile, Yadav is making this out like he's being selfless in being willing to give up his WhatsApp:
“I love WhatsApp but I will have to find an alternative if it’s banned," he said. "I don’t know if there is an app that good but I will keep looking.”

And what happens if SC decides that his petition doesn’t have enough merit? Yadav said that he will simply go back to using WhatsApp.

“I can’t do much if the SC thinks it’s not harmful for the nation’s interest. It’s not a personal issue, it’s a national issue so my usage won’t be affected.”
It's a national issue for you to try to undermine the safety and data protection of hundreds of millions of people? Really?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 8:44am

    Lets see, before there were easy to use encrypted communications channels, there were no raves organised, and no terrorism, right...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      How dare you even think that facts or reality would be relevant when it comes to impassioned pleas to write important legislation that will keep us all 110% safe from all forms of death!?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dip Luoma, 29 Jun 2016 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      Excatly! Also, if WhatsApp is banned, terrorist will magically stop communicating with each other because they are simply not able to find other means of communication (that offer serious encryption). BTW, compared to messengers like Threema (which can be used anonymously), WhatsApp isn't particularly secure (but it easily beats Telegram in terms of security).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 29 Jun 2016 @ 8:56am

    Let's not forget. Terrorist also use utensils for food. If we eliminate utensils. Then there is a good chance of eliminating terrorism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 9:06am

      Re:

      True, they would never be able to eat and might starve to death. Terrorist's would never have anything if we just made a law!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CoCowas screwed, 29 Jun 2016 @ 9:08am

    Tin hat time

    What if this laughable case is just a way for the Indian govt to ban whatsap? "...why not get some nutter to file a crazy lawsuit then have the SC find in his favor. Then we can shrug and say 'wasn't us'..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed Allen, 29 Jun 2016 @ 9:14am

    For your own good

    He wants the SC to ban WhatsApp for everybody, because it is in their "best interest" ?

    What uncanny perception he has !

    Knowing what is "best" for other people, in all situations.

    Heinlein was right, "When you hear the phrase 'for your own good' shoot to kill he is out to get YOU!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 10:14am

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 11:12am

    And he works for...

    Sudhir MUST work for the Indian equivalent of the NSA since he can "spend hours on it" -- regular people have other things to do with their time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 12:40pm

    Sudhir Yadav, you are an idiot! And do something about that gay looking FB pic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 2:27pm

    Someone needs to tell the Indian government that Sudhir Yadav has an interest in a whatsapp rival on Google play and Itunes.

    Basically he's trying to slow down Whatsapp, in the foolish hope that people purchase HIS app instead.

    I hope Whatsapp crushes this guy with legal fees

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 29 Jun 2016 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      Can you put a link to it, or at least give us its name? I looked, but I only found one app in the Play Store authored by someone named "Sudhir Yadav", and it's not a Whatsapp competitor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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