Govt asks employees to stop using non-government services like Google Drive and Dropbox
National Informatics Centre of India has passed a document titled "Cyber Security Guidelines for Government Employees" that prohibits the use of third-party VPNs, anonymization services, and non-government services.
Updated:Fri, June 17, 2022 12:09pm
The Indian government has been taking some bold steps to curb security issues faced by the country in presence of major apps from non-Indian companies. New guidelines have been passed by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in the past couple of months, and even before that, several Chinese apps were shelved from the country. Looks like, the government isn't stopping here. Now, government employees are being prohibited from the use of third-party VPNs and other anonymization services by companies that apparently aren't of Indian origin.
Govt employees are said to stop using non-government services
As per a new document titled "Cyber Security Guidelines for Government Employees," all government employees across India should stop using non-government cloud services. These services include Dropbox and GoogleDrive.
"In order to sensitize the government employees and contractual/outsourced resources and build awareness amongst them on what to do and what not to do from a cyber security perspective, these guidelines have been compiled," states the document.
Government employees are also told to not use any third-party virtual private networks (VPN) and services offered by companies like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Tor.
To recall, only sometime back NordVPN and ExpressVPN announced that they won't be keeping servers in India as they didn't want to adhere to the new guidelines by CERT-In that required them to keep users' data for a period of five years.
In addition to this, the Nation Informations Centre (NIC), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India, has asked government employees to not 'root' or 'jailbreak' their mobile phones (via ET). Moreover, the usage of any external mobile app-based scanner services such as CamScanner for scanning "internal government documents" is also prohibited.
In case you are unaware, CamScanner was one of the apps on the list of several banned apps by the Indian government back in 2020. However, the app continues to function through different versions on Android's PlayStore and iOS' App Store.
"By following uniform cyber security guidelines in government offices across the country, the security posture of the government can be improved," notes the internal document.
While the new guidelines have been passed to control the security posture, they appear to be far more dictatorial, especially, with the government not wanting employees to use services like Google Drive, which is widely used across the world.