Deleting WhatsApp Messages Could Become Illegal In India

Deleting WhatsApp Messages Could Become Illegal In India

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Many of us are using popular chat services like [p2p type=”post_tag” value=”whatsapp” attributes=”target=’_blank'”]WhatsApp Messenger[/p2p], Hike Messenger,  Google Hangouts or Apple’s iMessage to communicate with our loved ones. And we often delete some of our personal chats from these services. So here is the news, deleting messages sent through encrypted messaging services soon may become illegal in India.

Recently, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has posted a draft National Encryption Policy on its website inviting mailed comments from citizens and organisations. It details methods of encryption of data and communication used by the government, businesses and citizens.

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According to the draft, citizens may use encryption technology for storage and communication. However, encryption algorithms and key sizes will be prescribed by the government through Notification from time to time. This means that the government will determine the encryption standards for all and entities like Google and WhatsApp will have to follow the encryption standards prescribed by the Indian government. So the draft guidelines mean you have to store a copy of all your WhatsApp or other chat services messages for 90 days.

The draft guidelines read  — “All citizens (C), including personnel of Government/ Business (G/B) performing non-official/ personal functions, are required to store the plaintexts of the corresponding encrypted information for 90 days from the date of transaction and provide the verifiable Plain Text to Law and Enforcement Agencies as and when required as per the provision of the laws of the country.”

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The draft policy document states that the vision is to create an information security environment, and secure transactions. But the actual details mentioned in the draft appear to do the opposite, and put a focus more on the lines of limiting encryption only to technologies that likely could be intercepted by the government, when required.So now we have to save each and every personal WhatsApp messages or chats from other services as plain text for at least 90 days.

The document has been drafted by an expert group set up under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) which comes under the union ministry of communications and information technology.Citizens are requested to sent their feedback mail to  mail id:, on or before 16th October 2015.

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