In line with the report earlier this morning, the government has withdrawn the controversial draft for the national encryption policy. “In view of the concerns raised over the encryption policy, I have asked the draft to be withdrawn, made changes to and then re-released,” Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Also Read - Government to offer free movies to new internet users in remote areas: ReportAlso Read - Assembled in India: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad shows locally made Apple iPhone XR
Prasad clarified the government s stance saying the document on DeitY s website was only a draft, and it was not a policy of the government, ToI reports. He also clarified that the government was in support of the freedom of social media. Also Read - Indian government considering monitoring internet through a centralized system
Prasad said that the encryption policy was not meant to affect an ordinary citizen and has nothing to do with popular apps like WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook. It was instead meant to make transactions on the Internet safer.
The government came under immense pressure from all quarters since the draft National Encryption Policy was made public. While the aim of this proposed policy was to improve safety of online transactions, experts believe that it could be abused by hackers or other perpetrators.
One of the major issues with the proposal was regarding a policy that required a person to store text versions of all encrypted data on their devices for 90 days. The government however backtracked and came up with an Addendum, which exempted apps like WhatsApp, social media apps, Internet Banking and e-commerce sites from the purview of the policy.