Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Bollywood drug case: Privacy advocates question leakage of WhatsApp chats

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Mumbai (ILNS): Whatsapp has long been offering end-to-end encryption, where the text or file transferred between two people will remain only with the sender and the receiver. Taking note of the Bollywood drug scandal controversy WhatsApp has reiterated that all communication modes, SMS, MMS and calling are fully end-to-end encrypted and is not responsible for the conversation leak.

The leaks, however, have happened.


A WhatsApp spokesperson recently told media:

WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp. It’s important to remember that people sign up on WhatsApp using only a phone number, and WhatsApp doesn’t have access to your message content. WhatsApp follows guidance provided by operating system manufacturers for on-device storage and we encourage people to take advantage of all the security features provided by operating systems such as strong passwords or biometric IDs to prevent third parties from accessing content stored on the device.

Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that the NCB has miserably failed in its duty to keep WhatsApp messenger conversation from leaking to the media, from day one.

Over three months have passed since the sudden demise of 34-year old Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. But the controversies regarding his death don’t seem to die down. Leave aside solving the mystery revolving around the actor’s tragic death, each day probe agencies involved in the case are giving new twists and angles to the investigation. Since dead men tell no tales, the Narcotics Control Bureau and even CBI for that matter are heavily depending on either data collected from the mobile phones or the WhatsApp chats of those under the suspicion.

Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest and the details gathered during her interrogation revealed the alleged drug mafia involved in the Bollywood.

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The NCB reportedly cloned the mobile phones of Rhea Chakraborty and others, which gave them access to the WhatsApp chats of film stars. The alleged leak of WhatsApp chat between Rhea Chakraborty and drug peddlers has garnered media and public glare over the deep-rooted narcotics menace in Bollywood. Shockingly, after a few WhatsApp chats revealed that celebrities like Rakul Preet, Deepika Padukone, and the latter’s manager Karishma Prakash were also allegedly in communication with the criminals, the trio have been summoned for questioning by the NCB’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) today. However, the privacy advocated has raised the issue of the leakage of Whatsapp chats.

Whatsapp is used by more than 2.7 billion users in the world and expected to reach 2.87 billion for 2021.

-India Legal Bureau  

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