September 22, 2015

Chat privacy issues force Indian government to withdraw encryption draft...and social media teaches lessons to Donald Trump and Rahul Gandhi

The Indian government came out with a draft encryption policy, taking into account the need to protect information assets, international trends and concerns of national security.

The draft has been withdrawn and link removed from their website after public hue and cry about it. 

The proposed policy mandated all internet users (including people like you and us) to keep their chat data intact for 90 days. That means you'd not delete your chats over WhatsApp, Google Chat, Facebook chat, Viber, Yahoo messenger etc till it is 90 days after the chatting was done.

This  provision would mean chat providers to have their chat servers in India, and they must bring out special updates of chat apps with automatic storage and deletion provisions. 

Netizens and mainline media alike, people raised concern about their privacy, forcing the government to announce today that the draft is shredded.

Why does social media pounce on Rahul Gandhi whenever he opens his mouth?

We are serious jokers here at ITB but we too laugh at times. For example, this week we had a laugh at the expense of #RaGa (Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India's top political family for over six decades). Not that we are Congress-baiters or in the anti-RaGa brigade, but what he said and with so much force made us laugh.

In a public meeting called by Congress party to tell farmers that the current PM #Modi was trying to snatch their land in the name of development, Rahul pronounced: "...everybody has a mother and there is no person without a mother." Once he thought farmers were convinced they had a mother, he said, "Modi is snatching farmers' mother by taking away their land. He is giving away our mothers to others."

What could be a better line on the social media to laugh at a public figure? For days together, we could hear funny jokes about Rahul's wisdom, his parentage, association of his statement with a film dialogue and the controversial godmother Radhey Ma, and so on. 

Past catches up with Donald Trump

In the US, Presidential candidate Donald Trump didn't realise that making a hashtag '#AskTrump' would generate so much sarcasm and people would question him about his uncharitable comments on President Obama and others. There is no bigger shovel than social media to dig up your past utterances and deeds, no?

However, Trump's recent social media performance has been steady. This interview of McConney, his social media director, has a good piece of information on how social media managers maintain social media entities of the big and mighty.