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Govt staff told to do official work on ‘secure’ sites

An advisory to this effect has been sent out by Department of Electronics and Information technology.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
November 29, 2014 2:59:14 am

The Centre on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that to control flow of “sensitive” communication, employees of ministries and departments of central and state governments have been asked to conduct official communication through email services provided by National Informatics Center (NIC) or “use an email identity connected to a server located in India”.

The government also told the bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul that a service tax for using the social media and web service providers to display is being collected from October 1.

An advisory to this effect has been sent out by Department of Electronics and Information technology (DEITY) on Thursday. Another advisory restricting use of “official” social media accounts has also been issued.

Copies of the two advisories and the statement of the service tax department were submitted before the court Friday during a hearing on a PIL filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya.

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Govindacharya had said in his affidavit that use of “foreign based” web servers for official communication violated the Public Records Act.

The petition had also said use of sites like Facebook and Twitter for “official” purposes and sending sensitive information “foreign based servers” like Gmail posed a threat to India’s security. The plea had also alleged that internet service providers were not paying taxes.

The Centre, represented by additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain told the court that the email use policy and policy on usage of IT resources have been finalised and will soon be placed before the Cabinet for approval.

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