The government on Tuesday withdrew a contentious draft Encryption Policy that sought to make it mandatory for everyone to store all messages, including those on WhatsApp, for 90 days.

The policy released by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) late last week drew flak from both the media and netizens, raising concerns over privacy and over-reach of the state. (Read more on what the draft policy meant for users in Mint’s piece).

“It was giving rise to uncalled-for misgivings. The purport of this encryption policy is only to regulate those who encrypt. It is not to regulate consumers," communications and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said later after asking Deity to redraft the policy, following which the department made certain amendments to the draft. (Read more)

The proposed draft, the backlash, and its ultimate withdrawal is very similar to the net neutrality debate, where too, the government came up with controversial policies that threatened the idea of open internet, and had to reconsider its decision, after receiving flak for it.

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