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

News Snippets

  • Centre sanctions Rs 15000cr for Covid19 emergency response, part of it immediately and the rest over a period of four years in mission mode
  • RBI says Covid-19 has "drastically altered" the growth outlook in India
  • Third coronavirus death in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai
  • Odisha becomes the first state to extend the lockdown until April 30. Schools and colleges in the state to remain closed until June 17th
  • The Supreme Court orders all coronavirus testing, including by private labs, to be done for free, says will look into the matter of reimbursement for private players at a later date
  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
Total Covid-19 cases rise to 5734 on Thursday and the death toll stands at 166, says the health ministry in its daily briefing
oppn parties
Draft National Encryption Policy: Ill-advised and Stupid

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-26 13:40:21

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.