India proposes high-security voice and data network

The development of India’s consumer technology industry has seen its share of hindrances – such as governmental intervention and occasionally hostile media – but what market hasn’t? There are plenty of positives to refer to in the country’s recent tech history – from international arrivals such as the launch of Windows Phone and the Islamic phone that always points towards Mecca, to home-grown success stories such as the $35 Android tablet, the Aakash, which has amassed over 1.4 million pre-orders since its launch in October.

As India’s technology landscape grows and matures, one major concern that the country shares with Western nations is that of ensuring an appropriate level of security for governmental communications and activities, a priority that has grown as India becomes more dependent upon digital technologies, both within Government and among the citizenry. With this in mind, the country’s authorities are proposing a high-security nationwide communications network, exclusively for use by the Government.

NDTV reports that the Department of Telecom has identified a need “to develop and deploy a pan-India secure network, and network-based services such as email, VoIP, mobile communication through a survivable and available network architecture for government use, with a government funding of Rs. 450 crore” (4.5bn rupees (INR) or approximately $85.5m USD).

The $35 Aakash tablet wasn't quite as Indian as the PR suggested. Will a secure Government
network be more successful at reducing India's international tech dependencies?

Currently, most Government communications are carried out on the internet using third-party international services, such as Gmail and Skype; although these services carry their own encryption and security protocols, India believes the risk of interception by foreign governments and agencies is too great. “For the security of communication flowing within the country, it is desired that traffic should not flow outside the country, and should be routed through the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a government-supported not-for-profit organisation that facilitates exchange of domestic internet traffic.”

The exact structure and composition of this secure domestic network remains to be defined, but the proposal forms part of a five year plan for the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. Given the increase in cyber-attacks suffered by world governments and organisations over the last couple of years though, it’s not hard to see why the Indian Government is keen to tighten the security of its classified communications.


Image via LinuxJournal

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14 Comments

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Better late than never. Seems like the current CONgress govt has run out of avenues for scams. This seems to be the latest entrant. How about 2mbps unlimited Internet at decent prices first? Ohh forgot it's coming in 2015 according to govt's latest telecom policy.

Seems like Indian Govnt got a good PR manager and doing a lot of social media efforts to publicize. The plans are just for quoting a lot from the budjet and eat them up personally by all polititions and end up in their swiss bank accounts. we people will still have hispeed broadband of 256kbps really!

psreloaded said,
our great government...

Dont say anything about my " BSNL High speed internet ", 70 kbps download speed is freakin fast!

I have 2 mbps one and all my friends are like "omgz u r getting 200 KBps speeds!" And the stupid limit of 1.5 GB/month makes me just facepalm. And that 24 mbps costs like 7000 per month and still got limits, wt da fck? That's insane.

-Himanshu- said,
I have 2 mbps one and all my friends are like "omgz u r getting 200 KBps speeds!" And the stupid limit of 1.5 GB/month makes me just facepalm. And that 24 mbps costs like 7000 per month and still got limits, wt da fck? That's insane.

Atleast Hyderabad people are so lucky then. We have unlimited 10mbps plan for 1600rs (20gb cap, later 2mbps unlimited) and 1000rs (10gb cap, later 2mbps)

Actually its 10Mbps for 1000 INR with 30GB FUP limit. after that it is 2Mbps. IMO the only good solution available in the country...

simrat said,

Dont say anything about my " BSNL High speed internet ", 70 kbps download speed is freakin fast!

Actually thats 70 KBps and not Kbps and even that make some of my pals in europe and east asia faint...

nitins60 said,

Atleast Hyderabad people are so lucky then. We have unlimited 10mbps plan for 1600rs (20gb cap, later 2mbps unlimited) and 1000rs (10gb cap, later 2mbps)

here in chandigarh all plans sucks, connect had some great plans last year, but after changing their data plans, they are worst than reliance

simrat said,

here in chandigarh all plans sucks, connect had some great plans last year, but after changing their data plans, they are worst than reliance

The plans, at the end of the day, reflect the capacity of the infrastructure and ultimately unless the government itself is willing to invest into a large roll out of technology then let private businesses resell it (with the government being the wholesaler/owner of the infrastructure itself) things won't change.

Well... I have zero expectations from the current government. This has the potential of turning into another scam. Besides, the man in the picture has also proposed to bring in a law which would effectively censor the internet and would allow the government to sue websites if it has content if it deems unacceptable...

Makes sense when you go through the list of successful hacks into govt. interdepartmental communications by 'Ip addresses located in China' .