On June 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of India weighed briefly on the subject of encryption, in response to a "public interest" law suit seeking a ban on WhatsApp and other communication platforms that offer end-to-end encryption. The court refused to consider the suit on its merits — reportedly directing the petitioner to a telecommunications tribunal — but the development is significant, and likely marks the beginning of a protracted legal and policy debated on encryption. Last year, the Government of India released and subsequently withdrew its draft encryption policy on account of strong criticism from civil society. How will India's courts approach the matter, in the absence of any specific regulatory framework?
Encrypting communications enhances privacy and the security of information services. This, in turn, incentivises innovation in the ICT sector and contributes significantly to the growth of the internet economy. Read more >>
An encryption policy must aim to enhance trust in the digital economy and encrypted platforms help to ensure privacy & maintain the integrity of data. Read more >>
Encryption weaves together concerns around civil liberties, law enforcement, innovation and foreign policy. Read more >>
Global conversations are often skewed in favour of the countries that generate data or possess the technological capability to access it. The encryption debate in countries with advanced technical capacities is very different from the countries without them. Read more >>
The European Union's directives on encryption and data protection are among the most sophiscated in the world. Can India tip its hat to the EU experience? Read more >>
Regulatory impulses to seek back doors and localise data in India may be borne out of law enforcement agencies' inability to retrieve information from institutional channels that exist currently. Read more >>
Encryption policies must respond to the ideal of "light government", because law can never hope to catch up with the frontiers of technology. Read more >>
There is no side to choose in this fight since India needs its own high-security devices that protect data, and a law enforcement agency that can effectively retrieve electronic information. Read more >>
The "trustee" model is a wild card, but just what is needed to strengthen the right to privacy. Read more >>
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