Govt has shut doors on info-flow

Restrictions on websites, calls and photocopy machines issued to officials as they are put under CCTV

GN Bureau | March 24, 2015


#government   #ministries   #information   #social media   #finance ministry   #defence ministry  

The Indian government has never known to be information-friendly and now it is tightening the lid over info-flow by putting its own officials in cages with wide-ranging gag orders.

Reacting rather alarmingly to recent cases of leaking of government documents to private players, the government has blocked all non-government websites including email services, social media, news website, restricted use of intercoms, photocopy machines and complete ban on taking official files home.

These measures have come into force following investigation by the police and the CBI after the discovery last month that oil ministry documents were leaked to energy consultants and corporate houses.

A serious note has been taken on the tendency of certain officials to carry documents to their residence, with the security instructions specifying that it was not permitted, and that a special permission could be granted only if there was a requirement.

A reduction in the use of intercoms and maintain a record of all photocopies made in their offices has been made mandatory.

The ministries have also been restricted on media interactions and only spokespersons and others authorised officials can speak to reporters.

All this has been capped with installation of access control devices and closed-circuit televisions.

In the finance ministry all websites with private domains have been blocked for officers up to the rank of director or equivalent. They include including email services, social media and news websites. Only government websites are accessible. Only joint secretaries and above rank would still be able to access non-government websites.

In the defence ministry, officials have been told not to speak on confidential matters even on the internal telephone system.

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