Indian Government’s Own Secure Email Service to be Functional by March 2015
The recent news of email hacking and unethical intrusion of personal accounts by foreign governments has spooked the Indian Government. The government has approved a proposal by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to establish a secure and encrypted email service for government officials.
The government had previously instructed the officials to use the email service provided by NIC for official correspondence. It had also issued a directive to not forward official mail to personal email accounts. This was done to prevent leaks of sensitive government data to third parties.
Now the government wants to bring the official secure email service to five million officials. The service is currently available to one million officials DeitY is in the process of expanding it. The budget for the project is Rs.100 crores, and it will be utilized to expand infrastructure and ramp up security of servers.
The National Information Center (NIC) will be responsible for the delivering the service. It will handle email service for all departments except the Ministry of Defense which has its own secure email service. The External Affairs ministry too might get its own secure service as it deals with sensitive diplomatic correspondence.
The Edward Snowden revelations last year about the secret data-mining program by US intelligence agency to monitor worldwide Internet data led to these developments. Governments around the world are looking for ways to secure official communication and preventing data theft. Recently a Russian gang leaked a massive password database of millions of email accounts and this also led the government to take these measures.