News of former Indian cricketer S Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals players, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, being arrested for spot fixing during the Indian Premier League has brought back memories of a dark period in Indian cricket.
A report in Firstpost questions whether messaging apps like WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger were used by the cricketers and bookies to coordinate the spot-fixing events. Times Now reports that the Delhi police had several phones under surveillance and were tracking the likes of WhatsApp and BBM to uncover the nexus of bookies and cricketers.
Spot fixing using BBM, WhatsApp?
The involvement of the cricketers in the spot-fixing ring was uncovered through such wiretaps. Unlike SMSes, missives sent using IM apps like WhatsApp and BBM are encrypted, but as now proven by the Delhi Police, they are not impossible to keep track of. Earlier this month, we reported that regulator SEBI may monitor BBM and WhatsApp in order to check stock market manipulation and financial fixing. The market watchdog’s investigations into a number of insider-trading and market manipulation cases in the past few months have shown that apps like BBM and WhatsApp were used for these activities.
The Daily Mail reported just last month that BlackBerry users in India will soon be lawfully tapped by security agencies. Agencies will reportedly be able to access communication over BBM, which uses a highly-secure 256-bit encryption. While privacy advocates will scowl at the thought of such a development, if more and more cases of such nature keep cropping up, security agencies would be well within their rights to demand the encryption keys to the BBM and WhatsApp manors.