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Draft Encryption Policy Dropped
Sep 26, 2015

The government withdrew a contentious draft National Encryption Policy and said it would place it in public domain again after reworking some of the expressions that had given rise to misgivings. 

  • The draft policy had proposed that while citizens and businesses may use encryption technology for storage of data and communication, everyone will be required to store the plain texts of that information for a period of 90 days. 

  • Citizens were also required to provide verifiable plain text to law enforcement agencies as and when demanded.

  • The provisions of the draft policy, put up on the website of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY) would have given the government access to all encrypted information stored on computer servers in India, including personal e-mails, messages or even data. 

  • The government had sought to address the issue by releasing an addendum to the draft which clarified that web-based applications and social media sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter were exempt.

  • Secure banking transactions and password protected e-commerce businesses too were be kept out of the ambit of the proposed policy

Telecom Ministry said that the draft National Encryption Policy was not the final view of the government and was placed in public domain just to seek comments and suggestions from people. 

Several countries have felt the need for an encryption policy because of the boom in e-commerce and e-governance. Cyber space interactions are on the rise. There are concerns about security.  The draft policy, if implemented in its current form, could compromise the privacy of users and hamper the functioning of several multi-national service providers in India.

 


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