The draft encryption policy, that the Centre today withdrew following public uproar, was a tool for “snooping” and reflected the government’s “totalitarian inclination”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said today.
Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the draft policy, now withdrawn, was in violation of the right to personal liberty and the fundamental tenets of freedom of speech and expression.
“The draft policy was for snooping. It presupposes that 125 crore people of India are potential criminals. It reflects the inclination of the government and its intention to turn India into a totalitarian state,” Chadha said.
Addressing a press conference, he also alleged that certain clauses of the draft were against startups.
Senior leader Sanjay Singh used the occasion to aim at the government’s ties with the RSS saying the organisation takes the “class of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.”
“Despite the clarification, the attack on the freedom of expression is clear. It shows the mentality of the government,” he said.
Following a public uproar over threat to privacy, the government today withdrew the draft encryption policy which made it mandatory for storage of all messages, including social media, for 90 days.
The draft proposed legal action that could entail imprisonment for failure to store and produce on demand the encrypted message sent from any mobile device or computer.
The draft, issued by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, was applicable on everyone, including government departments, academic institutions, citizens and for all kinds of communications — be it official or personal.