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The government now wants you to store your WhatsApp messages for 90 days

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 4:49 IST

The next time you type a WhatsApp/Hangout/iMessage message, think twice. The next time you want to clear your chat history, think again. The Narendra Modi government seems to have gone one step too far . According to a draft National Encryption Policy, all messages will now have to be stored in text format and you might be asked to show it to the police up to 90 days after receiving it.

The draft of the National Encryption Policy was put up on the Department of Electronics and Information Technology's (DeitY) website on Sunday, 20 September. It talks about better security and privacy measures but goes on to bring up national security.

According to a report in NDTV, "The language of the new draft policy is quite clear - businesses and consumers may use encryption for storage and communication, but the encryption algorithms and key sizes will be prescribed by the Indian government. What's more, vendors of encryption products would have to register in India (with the exception of mass use products, such as SSL), and citizens are allowed to use only the products registered in India."

DeitY is inviting comments from the public. The purpose of this draft policy is to frame rules under Section 84A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 regarding encryption method usages.

Here is the full text of the Draft National Encryption Policy.

First published: 21 September 2015, 9:05 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a sports and tech correspondent on the speed news desk at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.