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.