In the wake of revelations on widespread cyber-spying by the U.S., the Indian government will soon ban use of Google’s Gmail by its employees in order to increase security across the cyber space.
A senior ministry official of communications and information technology was quoted by The Economic Times saying that the government plans to send a formal notification to nearly 5 lakh employees barring them from email service providers such as Gmail that have their servers in the U.S., and instead asking them to stick to the official email service provided by India's National Informatics Centre.
The move comes after the recent revelations by the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the U.S. government is keeping a track of personal and confidential data from Google, Facebook and Apple services through PRISM programme.
A Google India spokeswoman said the company has not been informed about the ban, and hence it cannot comment on speculation. "Nothing is documented so far, so for us, it is still speculation," Google said in an email response.
Last week, IT Minister Kapil Sibal said the new policy would require all government officials living abroad to use NIC servers that are directly linked to a server in India while accessing government email services. Sibal said there has been no evidence of the US accessing Internet data from India.