Sunday, April 10, 2011

Encryption Policy Of India

Any field that is not supported by any policy or strategy is bound to fail and encryption is one such area. We have no encryption policy of India and neither do we have encryption laws in India. It seems encryption is a concept that is beyond contemplation and understanding of Indian government.

In the name of encryption laws, we have a single and redundant provision in the cyber law of India, i.e. information technology act 2000. Further, some guidelines have been issued by the department of telecommunication (DoT) that are of ancient nature and not meeting the requirements of contemporary times.

India must deal with encryption issues as soon as possible. To start with, we must formulate good encryption policy of India. Once this is achieved, we must ensure effective encryption laws and regulations in India. Further, according to techno legal experts telecom security of India and encryption issues is also correlated.

India is compromising the Mobile Security of India and Mobile Governance in India by insisting upon a Weak Encryption Infrastructure, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India. Mobile Cyber Security in India is not upto the mark and unencrypted communication would further increase the risks, claims Dalal. New Telecom Policy of India 2011 is in pipeline and it would be a good idea if Mobile Security Policy of India is also made a part of the same, suggests Dalal. The proposed Telecom Security Council of India can take this issue when constituted, suggests Dalal.

One of the reasons for weak encryption usage in India is due to fear among the intelligence agencies of India. Intelligence agencies of India are not technologically sound to crack strong encryption hence they are insisting upon weak encryption usage in India. However, India must realise that e-surveillance is not a substitute for cyber security expertise and cyber forensics capabilities.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India need modernisation initiatives. Further, they must also get good quality techno legal trainings in fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc. Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) is providing world class techno legal trainings to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

If encryption related knowledge and training is provided to law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India, they would be less skeptical to the use of encryption in India. While formulating the encryption strategy of India, these factors must also be kept in mind.