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Email providers need servers in India and the the email id’s should end with .in

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Yeah! It’s that simple. Found this from GigaOm which actually got it from Times of India. I am hoping it to be a hoax or a late April fool’s joke but looks like it’s not. The Government of India is serious about it.

The amendments passed by Parliament require Internet behemoths like Google, Rediff and Microsoft — which provide free email services — to set up Indian servers. Not just that, they may also have to provide Indian email accounts for Indian nationals. This will have far-reaching ramifications for the millions of users of Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoomail in India. (Times Of India)

This is not the first time a policy change has affected the Internet or telecom operations in India. There was an issue with Research In Motion’s Blackberry services. The Blackberry messages are not traceable by the Indian security officials. Their plan is to ban the services. That was sorted somehow.

Changing an email address from dot com to  dot in is a Herculean task. It’s not that plug-n-play and this is would be the first attempt by the Indian policy makers to attempt at something this ridiculous on a preposterously large scale. This might as well be the biggest migration after India Pakistan border was drawn. Maybe that is a bit far fetched but you get a feeling of how pissed I am.

How will it help the officials?

The change is going to make a huge difference for the investigating agencies dealing with cyber crime, including data theft. Local mail IDs are a big problem across the globe, wherein the investigating agencies struggle to get personal details of account holders due to jurisdictional issues. As the servers of these accounts are generally overseas, mostly in the US, every country has to go through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and send letters rogatory (LRs) to get the details. The process of sending LRs takes more than six months.

This is all deja vu for me. The same thing happened in the US after 9/11 attacks. President Bush passed the Patriot act immediately which authorized the government to get a look at the company data. Mumbai attacks has triggered this super-patriot act for India.

I have one more thing to get off my chest. Would that India thing apply for blogs which has a dot com domain and a email on it which is hosted on a California server? I thought Internet is one place which doesn’t need any influencing skills and I can be me. But, the policy makers have conquered that too.

We don’t have to worry about the domain though. It’s a dot in domain remember. Maybe we need to look for a Bangalore based host.

  1. Sriram Vadlamani says

    @LK : I dont completely agree with your assessment. I sometimes take pride in Indian IT.

    But, India has got to it because of the net neutrality amongst may other things.

    So, will this move boost Indian hosting space. Maybe it would. But a move like this is not necessary to bring the infrastructure to India.

    You don’t bring infrastructure back from any country. You build your infrastructure so that it can compete which automatically translates to more traffic and more business.

  2. LK says

    If one looks at the positive side of this change, I think this may help boost hosting space in India, which is probably the worst in the world despite being the front-runner of everything IT.

    I have been reading your blog for quite some time and I think you are a person who takes great pride in anything ‘IT’ happening in India. To me, your thoughts on this issue were contrary to what you are.

    I’m happy with the change since I think it’s time we start pulling the center of IT infrastructure towards India from other countries (US).

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