NEW DELHI: You may soon need to keep a copy of all messages sent through encrypted messaging services such as Whats App, Google Hangouts or Apple’s i Message, for 90 days, if the proposed National Encryption Policy is implemented in its current form. Online businesses too would need to keep your sensitive information including passwords in plain text for the same period of time, thus exposing your information to potential hacking attacks.
The government has published a draft of the policy document online to seek feedback from citizens and organizations. It details methods of encryption of data and communication used by the government, businesses and citizens.
According to the draft, citizens may use encryption technology for storage and communication. This means that the government will determine the encryption standards for all and entities like Google and Whats App will have to follow the encryption standards prescribed by the Indian government.
What’s bizarre is that the draft lists specific guidelines for all citizens who use encryption services including instructions that individuals should store in plain text versions of communication for 90 days. So this may imply that you’ll have to store your Whats App messages for 90 days or face action in case asked to reproduce.