DSCI, Ashoka University Launch CIPHER For Promoting Holistic Encryption Regime

With a commitment to preserve privacy and promote digital trust by leveraging cutting-edge cryptographic technologies, the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), in collaboration with Ashoka University, has launched the Coalition of India for a Progressive and Holistic Encryption Regime (CIPHER).

CIPHER is a coalition of like-minded institutions and individuals. The idea behind CIPHER is to strive towards building a nuanced understanding of encryption among policymakers; assist policymakers in building optimal crypto-based solutions for improving governance in India and promoting the development of encryption-based technologies; and nurture India’s start-up ecosystem in this domain, a release said.

“Given the importance of encryption in the digital ecosystem and its cross-cutting impact on the overall policy discourse, it is imperative to hold constructive discussions and bring together a wide variety of stakeholders. CIPHER provides a platform to carry out these difficult yet important conversations and will strive to create awareness about trust, privacy, and cryptography. We welcome everyone who is interested to join the alliance for a meaningful and solution-oriented approach towards encryption,” says DSCI CEO Rama Vedashree.

CIPHER aims to foster frank discussions around critical issues related to encryption by holding seminars, writing whitepapers, and developing standards and best practices.

It will aim to achieve objectives such as building a community of like-minded institutions and individuals to promote the use of encryption, a nuanced understanding of encryption among government entities, policymakers, and parliamentarians, assisting policymakers in building cryptographic solutions for improving governance in India.

It also aims to assist policymakers and the industry in the regulation of cutting-edge technologies that leverage cryptography, promote the development of encryption-based technologies and nurture India’s start-up ecosystem in this domain, develop research materials and explainers for policy issues involving cryptography such as an end to end encryption. CIPHER will also help improve user privacy and security for the average citizen.

“For too long, cryptographers, policymakers, civil rights activists, and law enforcement have been having parallel conversations around encryption, privacy, and data security without a coherent exchange of ideas. Given the multidimensional nature of these issues, it is critical that we have a common platform to systematically discuss and resolve problems. It is with this hope that we are building CIPHER,” says Debayan Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Ashoka University.