Friday 25 February 2011

Encryption: An Unresolved Enigma In India

Encryption is a technology that is always feared by India. Despite the benefits of encryption for a robust cyber security, safe and secure e-commerce, meaningful e-governance and many such benefits, use of encryption has always been suppressed in India.

India has no rules, regulations and laws regarding use of encryption. Some vague rules are scattered in the telecom related affairs of governmental departments and their agencies but no clear and legally sustainable norms are present in India till now.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, India must ensure that encryption standards are suitably regulated through a good and strong cyber law and other laws so that security and law enforcement requirements can be reconciled.

Presently, encryption standards are biased in favour of security agencies requirements that need to be addressed by Parliament of India, opines Praveen Dalal.

For example, the directions to Research in Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry, Gmail, Skype, etc by Indian government for providing encryption keys are hegemony manifestations and not genuine security concerns. If the Indian government is serious about its claims, it must produce factual and documentary proofs of the possible and actual threats form the Chinese telecom gears and the questioned Internet services and utilities.

However, any concrete laws and regulations regarding encryption standards in India are very unlikely as the same may go against the endemic e-surveillance practices of Indian government and its agencies.