oppn parties Draft National Encryption Policy: Ill-advised and Stupid

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  • Last date for filing Income Tax returns by salaried employees extended to August 31
  • Supreme Court extends Assam NRC deadline to August 31
  • Prohibitory orders clamped in Bengaluru. Wine shops, pubs, bars and restaurants ordered closed for the next 48 hours
  • Congress still trying to avoid the floor test in Karnataka
  • 75 percent of the jobs in all private sector firms to be reserved for locals in Andhra Pradesh
  • Supreme Court will hear the petition of two independent MLAs seeking a direction to the Karnataka Speaker to hold the trust vote "forthwith"
  • Congress-JD(S) and a partisan Speaker push the Karnataka trust vote to Tuesday
  • Panel submits draft legislation to the government to criminalize mining, investing and trading of crypto-currencies
  • Government panel suggest a ban on crypto-currencies
  • Lok Sabha passes RTI Act amendment bill amid protests by the Opposition
  • Jasprit Bumrah rested for ODIs and T20s
  • Dinesh Kartik ignored across fromats
  • Rohit Sharma included in Test team too while Wriddhiman Saha makes a comeback after injury
  • Virat Kohli retained as captain across formats for the West Indies tour
  • MS Dhoni decides to take a two-month break, will skip West Indies tour but will not retire
Congress-JD(S) government loses trust vote in Karnataka. BJP might stake claim to form the government
oppn parties
Draft National Encryption Policy: Ill-advised and Stupid

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It must be a first when a confused government issues a draft policy and takes it back within 48 hours. The National Encryption Policy was an ill-advised document, perhaps drafted by technologically deficient bureaucrats. It was designed to intrude upon the privacy of common people in a dictatorial manner. It is almost impossible for people to store all messages and mails on their digital devices for ninety days. There are several reasons for this, but suffice it to say that it is the personal wish of the person on what messages he wants to store and what to delete.

The Modi government has been very pro-active in trying to curb privacy. In fact, despite previous governments having put draft Right to Privacy Bills in public domain, the Attorney General has asked the Supreme Court to define the contours of such a right. Hence, it is not surprising that the government came up with such a policy.

But as citizens have become increasingly aware of what constitutes an intrusion upon their privacy, the government will not be able to force such stupid legislations down their throat. Apart from civil groups that are ever vigilant in this regard, common citizen also take to social media in large numbers and denounce any such moves by the government.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while withdrawing the draft policy, said that some "expressions" in the policy had raised misgivings. Sorry Sir, it is not the expressions but the attitude of the government that has caused misgivings. Why is the government bent on playing big brother? Why does it want to anyhow get a peek into what its ordinary citizens are doing?

If the government is concerned about national security and wishes to curb the ease of communication digital devices offer to terrorists, it will have to rack its brain on how to do this. Such a blanket restrictive policy will not work. One thing is sure - it will have to take expert advice. Its bureaucrats are not knowledgeable enough and will always come up with policies that will leave egg on the government's face.