India blocks third party email services to government officials

The Indian government has changed the way in which its officials are allowed to operate when working, it has been announced.

Security Affairs reports that the move will see all third party email services including Gmail and Yahoo blocked from official offices in order to protect government communications. This will be accompanied with monitoring of online activities on government computers, filtering content that doesn’t meet official policies.

The new policy was announced earlier this month in emails to government employees. The emails, seen by The Economic Times, state that “The e-mail services provided by other service providers shall not be used for any official communication. Misuse of these resources can result in unwanted risk and liabilities for the government. NIC may block content which, in the opinion of the organization concerned, is inappropriate, or may adversely affect the productivity of the users.”

From now only the National Informatics Centre (NIC) prescribed email services can be used, with the exception of organizations dealing with national security, which will have their own independent servers. Auto-saving passwords will also be banned in a bid to maintain security, and the new terms also give officials the right to delete emails and internet histories from workstations, explains The Times of India.

The guidelines finally include instructions for social media use, insisting that users maintain “high security settings” on social sites and refrain from posting anything “offensive, threatening, defamatory, bullying, racist, hateful, harassing, obscene or sexist”. Employees are further instructed to avoiding posting any material that would “cause damage to the organization’s reputation.”

Author , ESET

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