Just as the govt completed the Content Monitoring System, thus gaining access in real-time to the phone calls and SMS messages of the entire Indian population, the implementation of open-source e2e encryption by #Whatsapp restored strong secrecy to the general citizenry's reach.
In the new rules lies concealed a chilling policy declaration: strong privacy is to be put beyond the reach of the common people, all of whose communications are to be seen by the governments of the future, all the time
For the rich and the few only, the technological possibilities of secure communication will be reserved. The rich can have an invitation-only privacy-respecting application without thinking about these burdensome rules.
The mechanism of this permanent discrimination is the new rules' declaration that "significant" messaging services - services with more than five million users - will be subject to new content regulations over secure communications.
In this version, the rules require any messaging service to be able to identify the "originator" of suspect communications.
There will be strong disagreement between supporters of regulation and the consensus of security experts and academic computer scientists over whether this regulation in itself breaks end-to-end encryption outright.
It is at any rate clear that services like Signal, which are operated to maximise user trust are being told that the provision of high-security communications to ordinary people will occur at the will of the government.
Signal provides a privacy respecting service by using the strongest and most transparently verifiable open-source end-to-end encryption, and unlike WhatsApp by not storing the "metadata" that documents who communicates with whom, when, and from where.
None of this will apply to the messaging services that aren't aimed at the mass market but are instead used by financial and other businesses with high communications security requirements.
For the rich and powerful, these rules will have no significance, unless they are so careless or unlucky as to use "significant" mass-market services in daily life.
No democracy can deprive the majority of the people of their right to private communication without altogether discarding democratic principles
Just as India has become the world's leader in shutting down the mobile Internet services on which the daily lives of the masses now depend, this new aggressive pressure against encryption shows just how counter-democratic India's Internet policy has become.
Whether you are a supporter or an opposer of the current government, one must appreciate that such instruments in the hands of all future governments of any type and outlook are too much to risk.
Ironically, by doing this, the new rules will spur a different counteracting technological development. Centralised systems for secure communication like Signal have great advantages in flexibility and technical resources.
But they have the disadvantage of being large enough to be reached by systems of discriminatory regulation the government is proposing.
But a family, a business, or a group of friends that wants to have secure private messaging (whether text or audio or video chat) can use very inexpensive hardware combined with software that is foss make messaging systems of their own and attach them to the Internet anywhere.
This can be fast and simple enough for any 12-year-old to learn how to set up and keep running
People the world over have learned in the first two decades of the 21st century that if they lose their privacy they lose their freedom.
They have learned also that there are plenty of alliances between companies that want their behavior data and governments that want to spy on their lives and control their choices.
By trying to control encryption for masses, the govt is going to cause people to take further steps to protect their privacy in ways that r harder to invade even for legitimate reasons bcoz there r no big cos to threaten without shutting down everything society requires to run.
Increasing the tension between the state and its citizens over whether they are allowed to have secrets may undermine democracy, but it undermines overreaching government, too.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Mishi Choudhary

Mishi Choudhary Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MishiChoudhary

26 May
Why are engineers and technologists running vaccination in #india @drharshvardhan @PMOIndia ? The #cowin portal leads to exclusion of those who don't have smart phones, aren't tech savvy, are women, have data packs. Don't you see ground realities before coming out with policies?
Also please refer us to the official document which is not an FAQ that mandates #cowin for vaccination
Until recently #cowin was only available in English. India isn't Bangalore.
Read 6 tweets
25 May
"Asking @BillGates to fix inequality is like asking an arsonist to hose down your house after he just set it on fire. Philanthropists might have the deep pockets to fund the fire engine and water hose, but the money is coming from making our houses unlivable in the first place."
This from an essay by Linsey McGoey

when the foundation pours nonrepayable, tax-privileged grants on the world’s wealthiest pharmaceutical companies, or when it defends a global patent system that makes lifesaving medicines needlessly expensive in both poor and rich nations, the buck doesn’t just stop with Bill...
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!