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Encryption and issues related to Terrorism and Communications

ENGIMA, encryption, cryptography

“Traceability based on the message that you have is possible through metadata analysis, but traceability on the basis of searching the content of the messages is not possible,” a speaker said during MediaNama's discussion on encryption. The bigger problem is that the technological capability of law enforcement is limited. All speakers concurred that the problem of end-to-end encryption in counter-terrorism operations was not a technological issue, but a policy and legal issue that needs to be solved. The issue was being discussed as part of a workshop, held by MediaNama, with support from Internet Society (Asia Pacific Office), on challenges to encryption in India. Note that the discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule and thus quotes have not been attributed. Challenges to encryption 1. End-to-end encryption is the issue A speaker explained that when it comes to encrypted communications, there are largely two models: Blackberry model (the escrow model): Decryption keys are held at the centre in an escrow. Gaining access to such keys is technically feasible; it is only a matter of establishing procedure in terms of when to give access, in what situations, what level of access, etc., the speaker explained but another speaker pointed out that there is a massive trust deficit in this model. The NSO-Pegasus incident exacerbated the deficit. Dr V. Kamakoti's affidavit in the Madras High Court proposed this as one of the two models. WhatsApp model: The end-to-end encryption poses a bigger challenge because we can either have it or now.…

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