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Draft Encryption Policy withdrawn

The Government has withdrawn the Draft Encryption Policy. The policy required users of services that use encryption, such as WhatsApp and other social media services, to store all their communication for as long as 90 days. Congress has said draft policy on encryption which has been now withdrawn by the government was a failed attempt by government to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

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Briefing media in New Delhi today, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shakar Prasad made it clear that what was released yesterday was not the final view of the government. He said there have been some misgivings and the ministry has asked Department of Electronics and Information Technology to withdraw the draft policy and revise it appropriately.

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Mr Prasad also said that the NDA government supports freedom of social media. Cabinet also gave its nod to extension of order regulating trade of edible oils and pulses under Essential Commodities Act, for one year till 30 September next year. Mr Prasad said, the Extension of Order will help States in ensuring adequate availability of pulses and oils and keep their prices under control.

On the other side, briefing media in New Delhi, Congress party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the real motive behind the policy was to make India left out in the IT world. He said, the Modi-led Government wanted to keep 24X7 eye on the citizens and implement a new licence regime in the country. Congress believes that Right to Privacy is a part of individual liberty as enshrined in the Constitution, Surjewala added.

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