All the Indian government officials will soon bid adieu to popular email services like Yahoo and Gmail. Some 5 million government officials will give up using popular email services for government’s secure email by the end of this fiscal year. This step has been taken in order to safeguard sensitive and critical government data during official communication.
The proposal of establishing an encrypted and secure email service for the government officials was moved by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). The government has recently approved this proposal.
“We are in the process of implementing this. At present about a million officials are covered by it and we need to scale it to cover a total of 5 million employees. This process will be completed by March 2015,” said RS Sharma, Secretary, DeitY in a statement to PTI.
The project has been allocated a budget of 100 crores. This 100 crore budget includes expanding the required infrastructure and improving security of servers where the emails will be stored.
Sharma further added, “We need to scale the infrastructure of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to accommodate this large number of officials. Also there will be a state of the art security for the service to ensure nothing happens”.
If sources are to be believed, all the government communication except that of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence will be carried out using the NIC platform.
This step by the government has been taken in light of the recent increasing trends of hacking and cybercrimes. Recently, some 5 million Google usernames and passwords were leaked online by Russian hackers.
According to the sources, the email policy will make it mandatory for government officials to communicate officially only on NIC platform and not commercial, popular email services like hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail etc in order to protect critical and sensitive government data.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communication and IT Minister had also confirmed about the establishment of such a secure email service for government communication earlier this month.
Post the Snowden episode, governments all around the globe are trying their best to secure their official communication.