Defence officers now won’t be allowed to use iPhone anymore. What?

In a bid to secure defence sector and to create a secure communications ecosystem for its officials, the Centre is now looking ways to create a secure hot line.

In many of the thousands checklist, the government first move is to mandate the use of mobile phones manufactured in India. The government is also looking the ways to create a secure email service to its officials.

The view is that communications for vital departments of the government need to be secured… a lot of the companies store user data on a server in a foreign country, including China,” a senior official said.

Data Protection Law

The suggestions on mobile phones crop-up at a meeting called by Minister of IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad including representatives of Cert-In, earlier this month. The Army now uses secure landline phones to communicate.

“We are already working on a data protection law. The Minister wants us to also look at ways to secure communication between the vital government departments, such as defence,” the official said

From many of the safety processes that government is planning is the move to seek detail of security and safety processes followed by the manufacturers selling the smartphone in the country.

The manufacturer will be asked to adhere to certain guidelines and adhere to certain specifications.

On the email policy of the government, the official said, “It will the largest service of its kind for the government with a user base of 5 million… an email id will be assigned to all officials at the Centre and State level through National Informatics Centre.”

A pilot of this service has already been done and is running for a select user base, including some senior officials. “The primary trigger behind the policy is control of data which resides on servers outside India and on servers beyond the control of the Government of India,” the official said.

The email will offer enhanced security authentication mechanisms such as geofencing and device mapping. “Centralised email architecture across the government will help in securing Government data,” the official explained.

While currently, the primary domain name used is ‘@gov.in’, the government plans to introduce local languages and sarkar.bharat domain.

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