Government of India is overhauling its email system in an effort to encourage government officials to use only their official email accounts for official purposes, the IT department said.

At present, many government officials use private email services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, even for official and semi-official communications, putting government data at risk.

Private companies tend to store email data at various data centers across the globe. Global spy agencies such as USA’s Central Intelligence Agency are reported to have the capability to copy data that is being transported through undersea cables, decrypt them and analyze their content.

Part of the reason for the preference for private email service is the lack of userfriendliness for the official offering prepared by the National Informatics Center.

That, said the ministry of electronics and information technology today, is about to change.

“The Government of India has approved a project to strengthen the NIC email infrastructure,” it said in a statement.

“Once implemented, the new email system will provide for 50 lakhs email ids for Government users across the country. This new setup will be as per global standards.”

Asked if government employees used private email services extensively, the ministry said it did not track that aspect of their behavior.

According to the official e-mail policy of government of India published in 2015, all officials must use only the email infrastructure provided by National Informatics Center all official communication.

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