Edward Snowden’s snooping activity has really made the Indian Government nervous, after being billed as one of the worst-hit countries.

The Department of Electronics and IT has consequently sent an SOS to all state governments, directing the officials “not use any server, other than the NIC”.

The officials at all levels have also been asked to shun foreign servers such as Google, Yahoo or Hotmail. And, no pussyfooting on this will be allowed.

Every official has been asked to create two e-mail ids on National Informatics Centre (NIC) — one with the official domain, with the designation defined, and another personal.

On transfer, an official will have to hand-over the designated e-mail ID with the password to his successor, along with the past files and communication.

However, the personal ID can be carried to the next department and even retained after retirement, for a period of 10 years. In case of non-use for 90 days, the e-mail id will automatically cease to function. These rules have been made mandatory, a top NIC official informed ‘Express’. Additionally, all government-level communication will be encoded and put through anti-virus and anti-hacking software.

Files will have to be transferred with various coded software, with digital signatures. For contractual employees, the email id will be created with a pre-determined expiry dates. No contractual employee will be given an e-mail id on the NIC server in perpetuity.

The NIC sources said the guidelines were important, as the new Prime Minister was pushing for greater digitalisation and faster movement of communications and files, not just between the Central Ministries and Departments, but also between the Centre and the State. However, the Indian officialdom is leaving no stones unturned in ensuring safety, with the Snowden fear lurking in the background.


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