Encryption: Political Mythology and Technical Reality - Decrypting the Encryption debate in India

Embedded in the right to freedom of speech and expression is the right to selectively express oneself. This right enables the speaker to decide who must be the audience of her speech or expression. A similar right manifests within the right to privacy, which is informational privacy. In the digital age this right is effectively protected by encryption; even for the common person. From being used by defense forces and intelligence agencies for secure communication and being controlled by export restrictions, encryption technologies have now gone mainstream and are used by almost everyone for tasks ranging from instant messaging to sending an email. This widespread adoption of encryption for everyday use has also resulted in Governments across the world attempting to bring in regulation that seeks access to encrypted information. The primary reason cited by Government authorities for this move is the prevention and prohibition of serious crimes such as acts of terrorism, production and distribution of child pornography, and drug peddling.
In response, civil society organizations and concerned citizens have risen in unison against Governments trying to gain any form of access to encrypted information. We at SFLC.in bring you a comprehensive report examining the debates surrounding encryption in India, the legal developments, and in conclusion presenting certain policy recommendations.