The Indian government has not decided yet about bringing servers of social networking sites Facebook, Twitter to India. Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that even though the government regularly interacts with social media providers to resolve issues related to handling of unlawful content on the internet, it is difficult for security agencies to deal with encrypted communications provided by various service providers.
The Minister stated, “The government has not decided to get servers of popular social networking sites, like hike, Facebook, Twitter etc established within the country.” Service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, WhatsApp among others provide audio, video, text and accessing other web services anytime and anywhere in a secure manner, Prasad said. He stated that the services are availed by the citizens across the world through internet, but they could pose a security risk. “At times these services may also used by anti-national and criminal elements, which pose a security threat,” the Minister said.
Minister Ravi Prasad stated that the security agencies are able to intercept these encrypted communication services through the lawful interception facilities provided by the telecom operators, but are not able to decrypt some of encrypted intercepted communication to readable format. Mr.Prasad added that the security agencies in India face a difficulty in processing the encrypted communications provided by various tracking and surveillance agencies. “There are multifarious aspects involved in security enforcement agencies getting such encrypted communication in readable format such as technical, international relationship, legal and regulatory policy, commercial and security requirements etc,” Prasad added.
The Indian government has banned services of Gmail, Yahoo for official communication stating that the sites were untrustworthy. The move was made to safeguard critical and sensitive government data after more than 5 Million user names were hacked from Google. Recently BJP MP Tarun Vijay urged the government to ban Yahoo, Google for private citizens and declare them sites untrustworthy. Tarun Vijay stated in the parliament that, "If use of these mail services, who park all their data in foreign lands, is not good for government officials, how can it be good for the common citizens?"