New encryption policy by Government

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The government, has taken a crucial decision after reports regarding deletion of WhatsApp and Google Hangouts messages could soon become illegal.Government has issued a clarification saying that a new draft encryption policy will not apply to social media. The clarification from the government comes after public outrage.  Apart from social networking, internet banking and e-commerce are also exempt from the policy. The original draft of the policy said that users of services that use encryption to secure communication, such as WhatsApp and other instant messaging services, could be required to store all their communication for as long as 90 days and make them available to law enforcement agencies when legally asked to.

 

The draft proposes that users of encrypted messaging service on demand should reproduce same text, transacted during a communication, in plain format before law enforcement agencies and failing which the government can take legal action as per the laws of the country.The proposed policy, issued by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, would apply to everyone including government departments, academic institutions, citizens and for all kind of communications be it official or personal.Generally, all the modern messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Google Chat, Yahoo messenger etc, come with high level of encryption and many a time security agencies find it hard to intercept these messages.The draft defined ‘B category’ as all statutory organizations, executive bodies, business and commercial establishments, including all Public Sector Undertakings, Academic institutions. The ‘C category’ as per the draft are all citizens including personnel of government and business performing non-official or personal functions.

The last date for public to comment on the draft is October 16, 2015.

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