back to article Indian government to bar politicians from using Gmail for official business

The government of India is reportedly planning to bar its employees from using Gmail and other foreign-based email services, amid concerns over surveillance by US spy agencies. "Gmail data of Indian users resides in other countries as the servers are located outside," J Satyanarayana, India's secretary of electronics and …

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Yeah, right

This from one of the countries that wanted local BlackBerry servers so that they could (supposedly) spy on people using BBM.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, right

You misunderstand. They don't want the US snooping on their business deals and passing the information onto US businesses who might be interested in the information (for a small fee).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, right

You misunderstand - The Indian Government are concerned that with access to their officials' emails, the Americans may be able to bypass the standard Indian bribery requirements, or be able to negotiate lower payoffs - gaining an advantage over native Indian companies....

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Facepalm

Gmail?!

You mean the mail service that, by using, you automatically give Google permission to read all your mails?!

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@ Graham Marsden

"You mean the mail service that, by using, you automatically give Google permission to read all your mails?!"

Quite.

In fact, I wonder if it might be actually be preferable to have the NSA read one's email, as opposed to Google...

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Re: @ Graham Marsden

You mean it took a law to tell folks not to use a non secure email system for gov work ?

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Re: @ Graham Marsden

By non secure I mean a system you have no control over, no audit trails to look at. No way of knowing some else has peeked at your emails.

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Re: @ Graham Marsden

Yes, at least when the NSA reads your email they don't follow it up by sending you targeted adverts.

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Anonymous Coward

Now somebody convince my boss

and jobs a good'un

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They were using Gmail?

Gmail?!

Dear lord.

It wobbles the mind!

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Re: They were using Gmail?

Quite. From a national security point of view, and an audit point of view it is mind-bogglingly dumb, and something that almost defies sense. At least for el Reg readers who understand a bit about Gmail, Office365, etc, policies.

But here in the west a lot of organisations use either Gmail or Office365 as their provider, and the likes of BT outsourced to Yahoo. Us tech folk pointed out a whole host of issues, and upper management ignored them for reasons of cost and convenience (actually the "convenience" aspect is often about internal IT policy & cast as well).

And that is without having to deal with the crushing bureaucracy in India. That should not be dismissed as a racist or xenophobic comment by the way, as my Indian friends and business contacts would tell you the same :(

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear, the backlash begins.

I expect Google will be left serving up ads solely to spam accounts at this rate. Thanks Snowden, you made a difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Strange goings on

I sent a friend an encrypted zip file, we both use Gmail. (not for much longer btw)

Later on I went to delete it and it had vanished. I checked "Sent" and "Bin" but it was not to be seen.

I had only ever sent this person a few mails so it should have been easy to find.

<plays theme from The Twilight Zone>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strange goings on

*Tries to send encrypted zip file*

"I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave"

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Re: Strange goings on

Never has a problem with me mailing truecrypt containers to people, using the subject "call me for decryption instructions" - so maybe some mailserver just objected to the .zip extension?

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FAIL

Re: Strange goings on

Outlook was bad for that. We had to change the .zip to ,zi1 or whatever. Anything other than .zip. With instructions in the E-mail on what to change it back to. There were a few other extensions that were problems too, like .exe, that were gotten around the same way. What a joke.

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FAIL

Re: Strange goings on

Blame your sys admin. Outlook supports zip files but most admins bar the files for security reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strange goings on

That's not a joke - that's good policy. You should not allow immediate execution of files sent via emails. If the recipient is forced to jump through some hoops first - it makes it less likely that malicious attachments will be executed....

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Good for India. They are showing some principal.

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Anonymous Coward

"Good for India. They are showing some principal."

Which principal are they showing - one for a new school? Or maybe the principal on a loan?

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Facepalm

This explains the collapsing Rupee.

Didn't they know that the world does not take take free email accounts seriously?

Oh well, at least it isn't hotmail. Or AOL.

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Why not just have google or some providerof note

build a local, in-country server farm for India, but stipulate in the service contract and bids that there be no back doors and no "calling home"? They could buy the hardware and install local google email servers and knowledge stores designed to show laws, public policy, government minutes, initiatives, progress reports, and also, also, corruption, complaint, suggestion, and recommendation for public merit awarding submission forms. Why must it be a given that western server companies holdm the data or illicit copies outside of the contract-issuer's country?

Also, apply to the foreign, in-country contractor the antisurveillance and mass espionage laws to make them subject to extradiction if they are found exporting govenment fles of the population, credit card and medical, crime and education, and other data. State it right up front, and make them sign in blood.

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WTF?

Oh, the Irony

Given how much out-sourcing goes to India, they’re worried about their precious data being in foreign hands? This may well be a hint to the rest of the world.

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