India mulls secure govt telecom network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
09 Jan 2012

The Indian government has proposed spending 4.5 billion rupees ($85.5 million) to set up a government-only secure voice and data network.

The Department of Telecom is considering deploying the nationwide network, which would provide services including e-mail, VoIP and mobile services, according to India's Economic Times.

The department is reportedly concerned that using conventional foreign-based communications services, classified messages could be accessed by the governments in the countries in which the data is hosted.

If the new network is deployed, traffic would instead remain onshore, and be routed through the non-profit National Internet Exchange of India.

The network would be deployed by state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL, and both would likely be reimbursed the cost of the build.

Of the proposed budget, 3 billion rupees would go toward the deployment, 1 billion rupees would be set aside for operating expenditure and another 500 million rupees would go toward R&D.

Security-conscious India has drawn attention by leaning on web companies including RIM, - as well as Google and Skype - to set up local servers for Indian traffic. One reason was to ensure that security agencies can monitor communications made through the services.

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