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Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today announced that the Government is withdrawing the draft encryption policy. Released earlier this week by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), the draft policy required internet users to store all encrypted messages for 90 days in plain-text format and make it available for government agencies on demand. This entailed that users could not delete messages from popular platforms like iMessages and Whatsapp.
Following an outrage over these policies, DEITY issued an addendum to the draft encryption policy stating that mass encryption products currently used in web applications, social media sites and apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter were exempt from the purview of the draft policy. Speaking to the press, Union Minister for Communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that, “I wish to make it clear that it is just a draft and not a view of the government.” The minister added that citizens’ concerns were noted that he had written to DEITY to withdraw the draft.