Govt exempts Whatsapp, social media from purview of encryption policy

Brand-new DELHI: Immediately after a controversy erupted over government’s proposal to investigate on every message that an individual will send via WhatsApp, SMS, or Google Hangouts, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology clarified in a draft that social media websites and applications will be exempted from the purview of the Encryption Policy.

According to the draft posted by Deity, there are certain categories of encryption products that will be exempted from the purview of the draft national encryption policy.

The mass-use encryption products, which are currently being used in web applications, social media sites, and social media applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc are being exempted from the purview of the draft National Encryption Policy, said a proposed addendum to the policy posted on the department’s website.

Encryption products used in Internet banking and payment gateways, and those used for e-commerce and password-based transactions will additionally be exempted.

Deity had earlier stated that all messages sent through encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp (Android version supports encryption), Google Hangouts or Apple’s iMessage, should be stored for 90 days.

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