The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has issued an order prohibiting the officials from sharing top secret or secret documents over the Internet. The officials have been asked to deposit their smartphones outside the meeting room during discussions on classified issues, as a large number of government officials are found using private messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram for communication of the same. They have also been told to turn off digital assistant devices in the office such as Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod and Google Home, including Alexa and Siri, in their smartphones or watches. The Ministry said such a practice violated the Departmental Security instructions and the National Information Security Policy Guidelines.
The Ministry has directed that top secret and secret documents are shared only in a closed network with the leased line connectivity where the Scientific Analysis Group (SAG) grade encryption mechanism is deployed. The SAG functions under the Defence Research & Development Organisation.