National Encryption Policy draft withdrawn

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New Delhi, Sep 22: The draconian draft of the National Encryption Policy has been withdrawn, informed Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The minister said that the government supports the freedom of the social media and also added that the policy will be reworded.

Ravi Shankar Prasad

The decision to withdraw this draconian draft policy comes in the wake of immense criticism. Several experts had questioned the need for such a policy and also called for withdrawing the same immediately.

The Depart of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) had come under a lot of flak due to this draft policy and experts have slammed it terming it as draconian.

Although there was a clarification issued that social media sites and netbanking would not come under the purview of the policy, there was not much respite since it still mandated that information be stored for 90 days in a text format.

This has been termed to be running contrary to the Right to Privacy as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The DeiTY will now re-word the policy after proper deliberations and discussions.

A few hours after the policy came out the government was forced to clarify that social media sites would be exempted. This brings about another question and that is the effectiveness of the policy.

Users are more likely to go to social media sites and exchange information as it would remain out of the purview of this policy.

The other drawback of the policy was that several companies would need to enter into an agreement with the government so that the information can be stored both in encrypted and un-encrypted form.

This would not be easy as several companies are abroad and may not agree to enter into such an agreement, leading cyber law expert Pavan Duggal had pointed out.

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