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Supreme Court transfers all Aadhaar-social media cases to apex court; hears arguments on encryption

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court has allowed transfer of the Madras HC petition for Aadhaar and social media linkage to itself, along with similar petitions pending before other high courts. After hearing arguments around encryption and intermediaries — which are issues under discussion in the Madras HC — the court directed the lawyers to submit a list of all similar matters pending before the high courts. The Supreme Court will then place the matter before an appropriate bench, after the Centre notifies the Intermediary Rules Amendment, which is expected by January 15, 2020. The Facebook transfer's petition was being heard by a two-judge bench, consisting of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose. The matter will now be listed in the last week of January 2020. In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) yesterday said that the Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules 2018 will likely be completed by January 15, 2020. It had cited the internet as potent tool to cause “unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity”   Decryption allowed under Section 69, says Venugopal Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, who was appearing for the State of Tamil Nadu, said the Section 69 of the Information Technology Act already has a provision for decryption. He referred to Section 69(1) of the IT Act, which he said gives the Central or State government the power to issue directions for decryption of any information on a computer resource, and to intercept any information on a computer resource. He…

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