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Email Services Like Gmail May be Banned for Government Use: Report

New Delhi: Popular email services like Gmail and Yahoo! are likely to be banned for official use to safeguard critical and sensitive government data.

A proposal to this effect is being moved by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) for Cabinet approval by month-end, sources said.

Government communication, barring those of Ministry of Defence and External Affairs, will be done using the platform of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), they added.

While Defence Ministry has its own separate secure email server, the External Affairs too may follow suit.

The move comes amid concerns about rising cybercrime and hacking incidents. Earlier this week, five million usernames and passwords of Google were reported to have been leaked online by Russian hackers.

Government is expected to route official communication through the National Informatics Centre's (NIC) email service.

DeitY has drafted the policy on use of email for government offices and departments and views and comments of ministries concerned are being taken on this, sources said.

Sources said the policy seeks to protect large amount of critical government data and aims to make it mandatory for government offices to communicate only on platform, not on commercial email services Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.

The policy is expected to cover about 5-6 lakh Central and state government employees for using the email service provided by NIC, they added.

To ensure smooth working of the NIC platform, DeitY will soon require about Rs. 4-5 crore to ramp up NIC infrastructure.

Besides, a total investment of around Rs. 50-100 crore would be required for full operationability of the policy, including integrating emails with cloud so that official data can be saved on a cloud platform and can then be easily shared with the concerned government ministries and departments.


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