Indian bureaucrats may be asked not to use private email services for official work

India is also asking its embassies abroad to use email servers from a government agency

The Indian government is expected to require that Indian bureaucrats use email service provided by the National Informatics Center for their official work, as it tries to secure its communications infrastructure.

The requirement will be part of a proposed new email policy, said sources in government who declined to be named.

India's Minister for Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal, told Parliament about a week ago that the government had decided that all its embassies would use mail servers from the government's National Informatics Centre, which will be installed in the embassies and directly linked to a server in India.

The minister was responding to concerns from the opposition about reports of large scale surveillance of telephone calls and emails by the National Security Agency in the U.S. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed through newspapers certain documents that suggested that the NSA had real-time access to content on the servers of Internet companies. The companies have denied their participation in the program.

The Indian government appears to have been very lax on security, despite having an email service from the NIC, with some ministers listing their Gmail addresses on their websites. It is not known whether they use these addresses for official communications as well.

Google did not comment on the move by the government to require bureaucrats not to use private services for official email communications. "We don't comment on speculation," a Google spokeswoman said.

According to Indian parliamentary records, Sibal last month told Parliament: "We are stating in that [email] policy that it is mandatory for the Government of India officials stationed at Embassies or working in Missions abroad, deputationists to only use static IP Addresses, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), One-time Password for accessing Government of India e-mail services." He assured the members of the upper house, called the Rajya Sabha, that the email will be encrypted so that nobody else will be able to access it besides the Indian government.

Some officials are recommending that the email servers for the government employees be managed by the individual government departments on their own rather than giving all the responsibility to NIC, the sources said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsecurityinternetMailInternet-based applications and servicesNational Informatics Centre

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?