New Delhi: Bollywood celebrities’ leaked WhatsApp chats, relating to alleged drug consumption and procurement in the film industry, have raised doubts about digital privacy and end-to-end encryption claims from Facebook. In its drug probe, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has strongly relied on WhatsApp chats between people. It was ED that first seized and cloned Rhea Chakraborty’s cell phones, and later, in its investigation, NCB used the same data. This method has enabled it to access movie stars’ WhatsApp chats as well.
CLARIFICATION ON WHATSAPP
“WhatsApp spokesman said in a late-night statement on Thursday,” WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to – end encryption so that only you and the individual with whom you communicate can read what is sent, and no one in between can access it, not even WhatsApp. It’s important to remember that people only use a phone number to sign up on WhatsApp, and WhatsApp doesn’t have access to the content of your message. WhatsApp follows the guidance provided for on-device storage by operating system manufacturers, and we encourage people to take advantage of all operating system security features, such as strong passwords or biometric IDs, to prevent third parties from accessing content stored on them.
HOW TO ACCESS ENCRYPTED WHATSAPP DATA
Security and investigating agencies can take the phone of a user and create a ‘clone’ of it on another device, according to an IANS report. This allows them to access even deleted messages with a phone’s ‘mirror image’ after which all information can be transferred to a separate device. After that, it is only a matter of retrieving data that agencies do through the involvement of forensic experts. They collect all kinds of information, including phone call records, messages, pictures, WhatsApp chats, as well as data on the cloud service of the phone, such as Google Drive or iCloud, including anything that has been deleted.
BOLLYWOOD DRUG-NEXUS PROBE
Jaya Saha, who was the talent manager of Sushant Singh Rajput, came under the NCB scanner after the ED accessed the drug chat between her and Rhea. Her WhatsApp chats were then recovered by the NCB. She was also on this WhatsApp team with Deepika and Karishma as part of the Kwan Talent Management Agency. The agency is now investigating whether for these celebrities, Jaya procured narcotics and banned drugs. However, they can argue that during the chat, the phone was not used by them. Or when Rhea said it was Sushant who asked her to send her phone messages, the IANS report added. In relation to the drugs case, the NCB has summoned actors Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor to appear at its Mumbai office on Saturday. On Friday, actor Rakul Preet Singh is set to appear before the NCB.
CHATS CONTENTS ON SERVERS
According to an India Today report, during the conversation, time and duration of the conversation, IP addresses and data used to identify the user’s phone details, the instant messaging service informed the US court about retaining metadata of user data, including those related to phone numbers. In the US, through court proceedings, law enforcement agencies have obtained such information from WhatsApp, and WhatsApp parent company admittedly accepts and rejects law enforcement data requests. When asked about what kind of information it provides to law enforcement agencies in India, a WhatsApp spokesman did not comment,” the report added.