Indian government bans use of Gmail, thanks to NSA spying

Cyber-War

The boycott of U.S. based email services has begun ladies and gentlemen, all due to the massive NSA scandal leaked by former NSA contractor and whistleblower, Edward Snowden. According to the Times of India, the Indian government has made the decision to ban use of all U.S. based email services — such as Gmail — for official government communication due to fears of spying.

“After Snowden’s revelations, we can never be sure to what extent foreign governments are intercepting government emails,” says Sunil Abraham, executive director of a Bangalore-based research firm. He went on to class the government decision to move away from Gmail as a late reaction, and frankly, we agree with the man.

Strangely enough, many senior Indian government officials (such as ministers of state), use Gmail for government related communication. We’re trying to understand why this is the case as all world governments should have a service internal system for official communication purposes. It appears the Indian government does have its own email service, so one has to wonder why government officials chose to use a third party email service from another country. Someone stamp “duh” on top of Indian politician foreheads.

The boycott of Gmail and other American email service provides has not begun just yet; Times of India quotes a “senior official in the ministry of communications and information technology” saying that the Indian government will soon send out official notices to its 500,000 employees to stop using Gmail and other American email service providers. So maybe Google has time to salvage their reputation. However, all in all this is pretty damaging to not only Google but also American web services.

Let this be a lesson to all government officials, never use a third party email service for official communication, because you’ll never know who is snooping around.

[via Times of India, image via Netlz]

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9 comments

  1. boycott usa

    BOYCOTT USA

    ALL PRODUCTS NOT JUST TECH

    WAKE UP WORLD THIS PROBLEM IS HUGE

    It is very simple to fix this whole problem, and that problem seems to always be the USA. Everyone in the world and even the USA needs to boycott itself. They also need to know where there data is going and ensure servers that do not touch USA. This is very simple to do but does have a cost.

    The alternative, do nothing. If you do nothing, you may ask what is the USA doing with your data. They are using it to make money plain and simple. It is not for terrorism or any other grand adventure. It is to take the worlds money plain and simple just like playing poker and knowing your opponents hand. If a company is ignorant enough to not secure their business without the USA and NSA spying, then using them is a sure fire way of destroying your business by espionage and stealing.

    Microsoft has back doors to all its products. This includes getting rid of all microsoft products like windows and replacing it with Linux. People around the world should start writing for open source code to help linux work for the world. All companies should provide tech support and drivers for Linux.

    Cisco routers have back doors to all their products and allow the USA companies in the know to learn secrets to your business.

    This does not mean simply just use new encryption software. These companies built back doors and even your best encryption is not safe. Worse anyone can access your networks once the back-doors are released to the hackers.

    Once trust is lost it is lost forever, and these corrupt American companies do not deserve another penny. They got funding from the USA government to take your information, and what should piss you off is they have it all right now. You have to change the game of your world business today.

    Educate the next generation and your business partners. No companies in the USA on your servers period. Boycott Microsoft, Skype, XBOX, Verizon, Google, Cisco, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Level3, Paltalk and there are 50 companies total so far look them up.

    Follow the work of the BRICS nations (Brazil,Russia,India,China,South Africa) and Europe and start to build a wall around the USA. Even Australia, you need to switch sides and abandon the USA for good. For every dollar you refuse the greater the world becomes and the more money you keep in your pocket. This includes, don’t forget, boycotting the rest of all businesses in the USA. Make the USA hurt until it turns against itself and stops screwing with the world.

    Sincerely,

    Pissed On So Many Levels

  2. jack

    1. Write email content on seperate private office/note taking app,

    2. Encrypt with something like TrueCrypt etc,

    3. Copy and paste encrypted article to email client (google or other),

    4. Send email with no worries!

  3. Coyote

    [@Darcy] I would have gone a different route. Chances are their “state approved” email servers havn’t been maintained or updated for the better part of a decade. If they are anything like the ISP provided email services here in the states, its a shoe-string budget with only the most basic of features. So in the end their quest for more security may bite them in the ass when anybody with access to a bot farm attack could take down a whole governments email service.

    [@corno] The only 100% safe thing to do would be to go back to face to face communication. Kinda hard to do that globally though if your president has to travel 30000 miles to tell another country they’d like to talk.

  4. Darcy

    Strangely enough, many senior Indian government officials (such as ministers of state), use Gmail for government related communication. We’re trying to understand why this is the case as all world governments should have a service internal system for official communication purposes.

    The answer is simple, they use it because they are familiar with it and clueless about security. People always try to stay with what they know.

  5. corno

    You have no privacy on Gmail, no doubt about that. On the other hand, other email services are no better. And where do I find an email service that offers as much facilities as Gmail, the use of which has served me so well? So, I am afraid I have to stick with Gmail until some alternative comes around that is 100% safe (which I doubt).

  6. anonymous

    Even though a country provides e-mail accounts for official business, some individuals may choose to use their own private accounts for the purpose of concealing questionable behavior. Here is an example of what some people see as hiding one’s behavior: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/emails-top-obama-appointees-remain-mystery (When it comes to politicians, everyone is hiding something; so use this article as a simple example, NOT as political commentary.)

    And for those that choose to avoid NSA scanners by using your own domains and/or servers… I honestly wish you the best of luck. But be forewarned: If the NSA isn’t evaluating your messages when they end up in your recipient’s inbox, the NSA may be looking at them inside your network. If China can hack into places like Apple, BlackBerry, Google, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, Symantec, and Xerox… I have little doubt that the NSA (with a yearly budget of $10+ billion) has trouble accessing a public citizen’s setup, regardless of how well it is designed/maintained.

    I hope I am wrong in my understanding of what the NSA can do; but I’m only going by what the public currently knows… Who knows what we’ll find out tomorrow.

  7. northsea

    Wow, haha thats cool ! … inbetween he overkill of negative worldnews this is one very positive development, that many hundreds of thousands, millions worldwide may follow !

    In the UK Google is not the biggest search engine anymore Myself I recenly abandoned all America based webservices including NSA`s Dropbox and use the mail of my own webdomain.

    That half of the wolds governments behave like America’s dog is sad enough, but there will come a time that the anti-America movement will gain momentum, and this healthy move of the Indian government will defenitely bring this moment closer !

    :-)