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Govt. planning to restrict employees using gmail, hotmail, etc. for official communications


02 Sep, 2013 11:42p.m.

The government is planning to restrict the government employees using Google's Gmail for official communication. The move comes in wake of Edward Snowden leaked information about the US spying under the program PRISM. Under the programme, the United States National Security Agency has not only spied Americans, but people around the world. The program is suspected of monitoring almost 75 percent of Internet traffic in America through access to servers owned by many of the major Internet tech companies, including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
PRISM allowed the government to issue orders to tech companies to hand over information through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These orders were covered under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which states that while the government is not allowed to collect information from American servers targeting individuals located in the U.S., it can collect information from American servers to target any non-U.S. persons. 

According to reports, India was number 5 on the list of surveillance with 6.3 billion reports gathered from the country.

A senior official in the ministry of communications and information technology said the government plans to send a formal notification to nearly 5 lakh employees barring them from email service providers such as Gmail that have their servers in the US, and instead asking them to stick to the official email service provided by India's National Informatics Centre.

In August 2013, the government had announced that it plans to come up with a new email policy to secure official government communication and to use NIC servers which are linked to a server in India for all Indian missions.

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