Guwahati, October 8, 2019:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI is reportedly scrutinizing WhatsApp and other OTT services for security issues and lawful interception.

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WhatsApp has recently claimed that it does not have access to user messages, which has put telecom regulators around the world, including TRAI, in a fix. The US Department of Justice recently made fresh arguments for access to communications that have end-to-end encryptions.

According to an international media website, in its argument, the US Justice Department said that lawful access to encrypted communications is required to fight terrorism, organized crime and child pornography.

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Meanwhile, a TRAI official has stated that it will take at least a month to give its views on the OTT norms and issues. OTT services in the Telecom sector refer to services that are can be accessed by a user over the internet through an operator’s network. Some of the most popular and widely used OTT services are Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and Hike.

TRAI in its consultation paper last year has sought industry’s opinion on if there are any issues surrounding lawful interception and security issues of OTT communication that are required to be looked into for national security interests and whether the responsibilities of OTT and telecom service providers need to be distinct.

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It may be mentioned here that Over The Top or OTT is also called Telco-OTT and the term refers to the exchange of audio, video and other media over an IP network or public internet circumvent to the traditional operators network.

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