India backtracks on draconian social media policy

Pic: AP.

Pic: AP.

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian government has backtracked on a proposed requirement for all messages sent on social media and mobile chatting apps to be saved for 90 days as a way of defeating encryption technology.

The proposed law stipulated that all social media users would have to save plain-text versions of messages for 90 days. Services such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Viber and Google Chat encrypt messages as they are sent between users.

There was widespread outrage over the threat to privacy and the possibility of prosecution for those who refused to save their communications.

Telecoms Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said the anti-encryption policy would be redrafted and would not affect most people.