The United States is reportedly willing to share with India "encrypted data" on the internet and social media platforms pertaining to terror suspects, organisations and other criminals through legal channels.
According to a report in Times of India, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has informed Indian agencies that it can share the “encrypted data” as part of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) that the two countries have signed.
The Indian government and agencies have been pressing US authorities for getting access to the “encrypted data” as a large number of social media platforms, including websites and internet-based messaging applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, Google and YouTube , had their servers in the US.
The TOI report said that during a meeting with FBI deputy director Andrew G McCabe earlier this month in New Delhi, officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA) once again raised the issue of sharing the “encrypted data”.
The NIA officials told McCabe that getting "digital evidence" quickly could really help in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation efforts.
McCabe, on his part, told NIA officials that even US authorities had to approach the court for sharing data of private internet service providers with other countries.
However, he added that the “encrypted data” can be shared through the MLAT.
"McCabe informed us that first data has to be retrieved and then encryption is an issue. He said they (FBI) can share encrypted data with us (through MLAT)," an NIA official was quoted as saying by Times of India.