Encryption: Political Mythology and Technical Reality – Decrypting the Encryption debate in India.
Embedded in the right to freedom of speech and expression is the right to selectively express oneself. This right enables the speaker to decide who must be the audience of her speech or expression. A similar right manifests within the right to privacy, which is informational privacy. In the digital age this right is effectively protected by encryption; even for the common person. From being used by defense forces and intelligence agencies for secure communication and being controlled by export restrictions, encryption technologies have now gone mainstream and are used by almost everyone for tasks ranging from instant messaging to sending an email. This widespread adoption of encryption for everyday use has also resulted in Governments across the world attempting to bring in regulation that seeks access to encrypted information. The primary reason cited by Government authorities for this move is the prevention and prohibition of serious crimes such as acts of terrorism, production and distribution of child pornography, and drug peddling.
In response, civil society organizations and concerned citizens have risen in unison against Governments trying to gain any form of access to encrypted information. We at SFLC.in are launching a comprehensive report examining the debates surrounding encryption in India, the legal developments, and in conclusion presenting certain policy recommendations.
In the light of the developments around encryption in India, SFLC.in is launching a comprehensive report entailing the litigation surrounding encryption in India, the legal developments, and its policy recommendations. We are also hosting two panel discussions to discuss the state of Encryption in India and worldwide. Our efforts are being multiplied by NewsClick, joining us as our Media Partners to help us take the discussion to the masses.
Day 1 – October 19th, 2021 6PM IST ( 8.30AM EST) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBx9ptabV_g
Panel 1 – Decrypting the Encryption Debate – “Is the Right to Encrypt, a part of Right to Privacy“.
The panel discussion seeks to explore the idea that the Right to Encrypt is to be read as a subset of the Right to Privacy which is enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It also dwells into the necessary protections that should be given for the Right to Encrypt under the existing regulatory and constitutional framework in India.
Panelists – Mr. Sidharth Luthra (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Mr. Karti Chidambaram(Member of Lok Sabha, Member Parliament Standing Committee on Information Technology), Mr. Y. Kiran Chandra ( General Secretary, Free Software Movement of India), Jon Camfield (Director of Global Technology Strategy at Internews), Emma Llanso ( Director, Center for Democracy & Technology).
Moderator – Ms. Mishi Choudhary (Founder, SFLC.in)
October 19th 2021 7:15PM IST – Report Launch – Political Mythology and Technical Reality : Decrypting the Encryption Debate in India
Day 2 – October 20th, 2021 6PM IST ( 8.30AM EST) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqzOdmzN4BI
Panel 2 – “Privacy V. Security, A flawed Perspective“
The panel discussion seeks to analyze and simplify various aspects of encryption and its implications upon individual privacy vis-a-vis broader security and law-enforcement considerations for the detection, prevention and investigation of offences. The objective is to also explore how the two concepts can coexist and what are the considerations which are to be kept in mind while regulating the use of encryption.
Panelists – Ms. Shivangi Nandkarni ( Co-founder and CEO, Arrka), Mr. Samuel Woodhans (Digital Rights Lead Top10VPN), Ms. Mallory Knodel (CTO, Center for Democracy and Technology), Mr. Gus Hosein (Executive Director, Privacy International), Prasanth Sugathan(Legal Director, SFLC.in)
Moderator – Mr. Abhinandan Sekri. Co- Founder Newslaundry
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Given below is a set of FAQ on Encryption