India is on the verge of implementing an internal email policy for official communications in order to avoid using American-based web services that have been compromised by the National Security Agency.
In December, India will unveil a new internal policy devised to avoid major email service providers – such as Gmail, Yahoo! or Outlook.com – that house their servers in the United States.
A communications official confirmed Tuesday that the plan is near implementation, The Times of India reported.
“Email policy of the government of India, as this policy will be called, is almost ready and we are taking views from other ministries on this. Our effort will be to operationalize it by mid- or end-December,”Department of Electronics and Information Technology Sec. J Satyanarayana said at a Delhi summit.
All services will be provided by India’s own National Informatics Centre (NIC).
India’s plan was first announced in August, after revelations supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA collected over six billion pieces of information from India’s computer and telephone networks in just one month.
In addition, according to Snowden documents first reported by The Hindu, the NSA bugged computers and telephones at India’s United Nations office and embassy in Washington DC, likely exposing vast amounts of computer storage, internet traffic, emails, telephone, and office conversations.
“It is imperative in view of the security concerns that exist in other countries,” India’s communications and IT minister, Kapil Sibal, said in August. He added that all official emails will be encrypted.
India, reportedly the fifth most spied-on country by the NSA, is not alone in seeking internet avenues around the NSA’s clutches, as further details trickle out regarding NSA spying on foreign leaders.
Germany’s largest telecom provider, Deutsche Telekom, is looking to introduce a “national routing” service which would keep German internet traffic out of the hands of foreign spies.
The former state-owned communications giant outlined the plans in a secret meeting at the Economy Ministry, business weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported weeks ago.
Currently, email data is exchanged between users worldwide via international internet exchange points – physical structures through which internet service providers (ISPs) exchange internet traffic between their networks.
India is also teaming up with other BRICS nations and companies within the countries to produce NSA-proof telecommunications architecture.
In particular, Brazil has been reported to be building a “BRICS cable” that will create an independent link between Brazil, South Africa, India, China, and Russia, in order to bypass NSA cables and avoid spying.
The cable is set to go from the Brazilian town of Fortaleza to the Russian town of Vladivostok via Cape Town, Chennai, and Shantou. see more