Government employees have been asked to stop using virtual private network (VPN) services apart from services like Google Drive and Dropbox.
Prioritizing data security, the Indian government has banned the use of third-party and non-government cloud platforms by its employees.
Companies like NordVPN and ExpressVPN have removed their servers from India after the recent new VPN policy.
It has been told in several media reports that the order has been issued by the National Informatics Center (NIC) and has been sent to all the ministries and departments.
All government employees have been asked to follow this order and in case of not doing so, they have also been warned of action.
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Let us tell you, this order has been agreed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
The new order for government employees comes after new instructions for VPN services came a few weeks back.
In these it was said that companies providing VPN services will have to keep the data of its users safe for five years.
However, the new guidelines do not match the core idea of VPN services providing better privacy.
This is the reason why many companies providing VPN services are leaving India.
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Virtual Private Network or VPN masks the IP address of the users to give them a secure browsing experience.
The data is then sent and received through another encrypted route, leaving the source undetected by the third-party.
In addition to cloud services such as VPN and Google Drive , the use of ‘unauthorized remote administration tools’ for employees has also been banned.
According to a Gadgets360 report, TeamViewer, AnyDesk and AmyAdmin are among the tools involved.
As an alternative, employees have been asked to use government cloud services.
For the rest of the needs, the help of tools prepared by government departments can be taken.
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The government has asked employees not to “use any external email service for official communication”.
Similarly, they have been advised not to hold sensitive internal meetings and discussions with the help of ‘unauthorized third-party video conferencing or collaboration tools’.
It also asked employees to stop using “any external mobile app-based scanner service” for scanning “internal government documents”.
According to the report, the government has forbidden its employees to ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ their phones.
They have also been asked to use strong passwords for accounts and change them every 45 days.
According to the order, ‘All government employees will have to strictly follow the guidelines laid down in the document and in case of failure to do so, necessary action will be taken against them.’