After facing strong criticism from public, the government has withdrawn its national encryption policy draft which was proposed earlier this week. The IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed media over the issue and stated that the draft was poorly worded and is being reworked.
The minister also said that new regulations would free individual users from any kind of encryption of their private data on messaging apps such as Whatsapp, BBM etc and is being framed for businesses only.
Government of India now will have a complete access to all the encrypted information. According to a Draft Nation Encryption Policy, the government seek to gather information whether it be private messages, personal emails or even the messages of business firms stored in private servers.
The draft proposed by the National Encryption Policy is aim to provide a secure transactions for individuals or business firms in cyber world. The government is trying to establish a secure information environment through systems and networks. According to an official spokesperson who stated that it has become important to increase the standards of security of the cyber world due to a consistent growth in internet-based services.
A group of expertise from Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) under the Union Ministry of communication and information technology has helped in the formulation of the draft. Under Section 84 A of IT Act 2000, the expert group from DeitY has put forth the draft National Encryption Policy. The central government has put the draft online seeking the public point of view. The document is said to remain available for public comment until October 16.
Under this scheme, the DeitY has asked all the users to store the encrypted communications at least for 90 days. Some of the common encrypted technologies that people uses in day to day life are transactions done in e-commerce sites, several social networking websites such as Facebook which uses encrypted data to store messages. However at individual level secure messaging apps uses encrypted technologies.
The National Encryption Policy has been criticized by many of the dignified persons. For example, the Policy Director of an internet center at Bengaluru, Mr. Pranesh Prakash stated that the draft policy might prove to be a bad idea for the people who do not understand encryption technology. Implementing such policy requires agreement with many companies around the world. He question the capability of central government whether the government could handle such agreements in vast proportion.
Pawan Duggal, a cyber law expert states, “The policy is not only draconian, but also misplaced.” Further adding to his speech he stated that by implementing such policy the internet users might end up violating these rules. However, the policy claims that the draft will have an objective of ensuring security and confidentiality of the data.