Coalition of India for a Progressive and Holistic Encryption Regime (Cipher)

Data Security Council of India in collaboration with Ashoka University recently launched CIPHER – Coalition of India for a Progressive and Holistic Encryption Regime. CIPHER is a coalition of like-minded institutions and individuals committed to preserving privacy and promoting digital trust by leveraging cutting edge cryptographic technologies.

CIPHER would strive towards building a nuanced understanding of encryption among policymakers; assist policymakers in building optimal crypto based solutions for improving governance in India and promote development of encryption-based technologies; nurturing India’s start-up ecosystem in this domain.

The launch witnessed wide representation from industry, academia, and civil society organisations. Eminent speakers such as Keri Pearlson, Executive Director, Cybersecurity, MIT Sloan; Peeyush Bajpai, Director, Big Data Solutions, The Nielsen Company; Yashovardhan Azad, Retired IPS Officer, Intelligence Bureau joined the discussions, among others. In the coming days, CIPHER will witness increased collaboration from interested individuals and institutions, enable cutting edge work in crypto technologies, hold discussions, symposiums, and advance the theme of privacy and encryption. Those willing to join the alliance can express their interest at the CIPHER website: https://cipher.

Rama Vedashree, CEO, DSCI, 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.”

Debayan Gupta, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Computer Science, Ashoka University, said, “For too long, cryptographers, policy makers, 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.”

Data Security Council of India (DSCI) is a not-for-profit, industry body on data protection in India, setup by NASSCOM®, committed towards making the cyberspace safe, secure and trusted by establishing best practices, standards and initiatives in cyber security and privacy. DSCI works together with the Government and their agencies, law enforcement agencies, industry sectors including IT-BPM, BFSI, CII, Telecom, industry associations, data protection authorities and think tanks for public advocacy, thought leadership, capacity building and outreach initiatives. For more information, visit:

Ashoka University is a pioneer in its focus on providing a liberal education at par with the best in the world. An Ashoka education carries a strong emphasis on foundational knowledge, thorough academic research based on rigorous pedagogy, and hands-on experience with real-world challenges. The 2000-plus student community, drawn from over 28 states and 100 cities in India as well as 17 other countries, receive a world-class interdisciplinary education through undergraduate and post-graduate programmes led by internationally renowned faculty.


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