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I&B Ministry bans Digital Assistant devices in its offices

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has banned digital assistant devices like Alexa, Siri and Google Home among others citing security concerns.

“Digital Assistant devices like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod, Google Home, etc. may not be kept in the office. Further, Digital Assistants (such as Alexa, Siri, etc.) should be turned off in the smartphones/watches used by the employee. Smartphones may be deposited outside the meeting room during the discussion on classified issues,” the ministry said in an order sent on Wednesday.

The ministry said that it has been observed that a large number of Government officials are using private messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Telegram etc. for communication of classified information. Such practice is a clear violation of information security instruction in the manual of Departmental Security Instructions (MoDSI) and National Information Security Policy Guidelines (NISPG).

The ministry has recommended using Government Email (NIC email) facility or Govemment Instant Messaging Platforms (such as CDAC’s Samvad, NIC’s Sandesh, etc.) for the communication of Confidential and Restricted information. BCS Bureau

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