Following the arrest of three players of Rajasthan Royals for spot fixing during the ongoing IPL6, we had reported that mobile messaging services like WhatsApp and Blackberry had helped in the investigation, as per an article at Firstpost. But, in a later probe by Firstpost, it has been found that this is just a rumour and that tracking these messaging platforms is not possible.
Firstpost had cited TV news channel Times Now while stating that the Delhi Police had tracked these messaging services during their spot fixing probe that also had around 70 phones under surveillance. However, the business head at WhatsApp, Neeraj Arora dismissed these as rumours, since WhatsApp chat messages get saved on users’ devices.
Arora added that WhatsApp messages are encrypted and stored only until they are delivered; no chat history is stored on the servers. In fact, he also informed Firstpost that the Indian government or any Indian law enforcing agencies had not approached WhatsApp for any information regarding chat conversations.
Besides, a reporter from NDTV had also interviewed Delhi Police Chief Neeraj Kumar who then informed that they did not know to tap BBM messages as yet.
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Just interviewed delhi police chief neeraj kumar who says they dont know how to tap bbm messages yet so- type away freely :)
— sunetra choudhury (@sunetrac) May 16, 2013
Mobile messaging services are always facing the brunt, whether it is a security threat or the need to censor private conversations, or even the spread of insider market tips. Last year, The Department of Telecom (DoT) had set a December 31 deadline for telecom companies to provide real time intercept facilities for Blackberry smartphones, citing Blackberry services as a security threat by agencies.
Following which the manufacturer, Research in Motion, came up with a solution that enables telecom operators to provide lawful access to its messaging services like Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) email. However, this was not extended to the Blackberry Enterprise Server.
This year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India SEBI has found out that mobile messaging services like BBM and WhatsApp are being increasingly used to spread sensitive market related information to influence certain stocks. As much as it is difficult to intercept these messages in the encrypted form, the market regulator is finding ways to tackle it.
With the number of messaging apps on the rise, the ways in which these can be manipulated has also been growing. Keeping a track on encrypted messages during transmission seems a tough ask, at least for now.
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