Facebook, Twitter barred for government employees for official communication

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The central government told the Delhi High Court that it will issue an advisory prohibiting government employees from accessing social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter through officials systems and networks. A division bench of acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul asked the centre to immediately issue an advisory prohibiting public servants, who already have a official e-mail account, from using external services.

The bench took into note the submissions of Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra that 4.5 lakh government employees have been allotted official email accounts and they have started using them. Mehra further submitted that there would be requirement of five million such account holders and setting up of such e-mail accounts would require some time and infrastructure.

“You (centre) will issue an advisory that those people who have been given official e-mail accounts (nic.in) will immediately use that e-mail ids and to increase the number of employees on official accounts,” the bench said.The court told the government that the server pertaining to the official e-mail account should be “housed in India itself”. It also asked the information and technology department to process a draft e-mail policy proposal for the committee of secretaries within two weeks, and the committee to approve the e-mail policy and another policy “on acceptable use of IT resources of the government of India” within two weeks after that.

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