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Government Guidelines Ask Not To Share Important Documents On WhatsApp

By The Assam Tribune

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform that has billions of users from all across the world. Recently, WhatsApp has been making headlines for wrong reasons and these reasons are often associated with leaked documents. The Government of India has recently noticed that WhatsApp has been a medium for the leakage of classified information which has resulted in violations of national communication guidelines. To fix the issue the Centre with the help of a revised communication advisory has issued new guidelines to prevent this problem.


The new communication guidelines have asked government officials not to share confidential information through mediums like WhatsApp and Telegram. The reason cited for the same is that private companies control the server of these platforms. Further, these private companies reside abroad and therefore, there are chances that the information shared on these platforms, including information shared on WhatsApp Status can be misused. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the information shared through these platforms are not critical for the government.

Special Attention Should Be Taken Care Of While Working From Home

The Covid pandemic made the concept of working from home a popular concept. While working from home, many employees end up sharing sensitive documents through messaging platforms. From sharing official work to sharing personal Sexy Photos, the distinguishment between professional and personal communication on popular messaging platforms have blurred. It is therefore important to create a clear distinction between professional and personal work while working from home.


As a precautionary to prevent leakage of sensitive information in the new work from home setup, the new government guidelines have asked the employees to stop sharing important documents and information on such platforms while working from home. Further, the officials have been advised to use the Virtual Private Network of the National Informatics Centre to connect to the office network for working in a robust security connection when dealing with official data.


While working on the new guidelines, the ministries have been asked to start following the new guidelines as soon as possible when dealing with restricted and confidential communication. Not only the messaging platforms should be used for sharing confidential information, but the same also should not be stored on the smartphone too.

No Smart Devices Should Be Used During Office Hours

All the Union Ministries and Departments have further been advised to stop using smartphones and smartphones during office hours, especially while discussing classified information of the government. In addition to smartphones and smartwatches, the guidelines also asked not to use HomePod by Apple, Google Home and Alexa by Amazon.

New Guidelines For Hosting Virtual Meetings

With the onset of the pandemic, the physical meetings have shifted to virtual meetings and it has become a part of the new normal for the past two years. Till now, the virtual meetings for educational institutions, government meetings and meetings of the companies were held on platforms like Google Meet and Zoom. However, there will be a change in this setup. According to the new guidelines, the officials should not hold any future meetings on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet that are owned by private companies that are based in foreign countries.


Instead of using these private apps, the government has asked the officials to use the video conference solutions which is provided by the Department of Advanced Computing, National Informatics Centre. Further, using a password will be mandatory for accessing the waiting room facilities and chat rooms. Also, the attendance for the same will be marked in these applications.

Why These Precautionary Measures Are Taken?

The government has started taking such precautionary measures because many countries have started using spyware in private applications for laying their hand on confidential information of the country which makes the private platforms extremely vulnerable to attacks. There have been reports where applications developed by other countries have been slyly installed on such applications and the servers of the same are intelligently planted in a different location and the information that is stored on such platforms then becomes accessible to the attackers.


In 2020, while citing the same issue, the Government of India banned more than 50 applications that have their origin in China was banned. Popular apps that were present in the list included WeChat, CamScanner, SHAREit and TikTok. For, the past few years, the Government of India has been taking active steps to ensure the digital security of the country and its citizens.



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Government Guidelines Ask Not To Share Important Documents On WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform that has billions of users from all across the world. Recently, WhatsApp has been making headlines for wrong reasons and these reasons are often associated with leaked documents. The Government of India has recently noticed that WhatsApp has been a medium for the leakage of classified information which has resulted in violations of national communication guidelines. To fix the issue the Centre with the help of a revised communication advisory has issued new guidelines to prevent this problem.


The new communication guidelines have asked government officials not to share confidential information through mediums like WhatsApp and Telegram. The reason cited for the same is that private companies control the server of these platforms. Further, these private companies reside abroad and therefore, there are chances that the information shared on these platforms, including information shared on WhatsApp Status can be misused. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the information shared through these platforms are not critical for the government.

Special Attention Should Be Taken Care Of While Working From Home

The Covid pandemic made the concept of working from home a popular concept. While working from home, many employees end up sharing sensitive documents through messaging platforms. From sharing official work to sharing personal Sexy Photos, the distinguishment between professional and personal communication on popular messaging platforms have blurred. It is therefore important to create a clear distinction between professional and personal work while working from home.


As a precautionary to prevent leakage of sensitive information in the new work from home setup, the new government guidelines have asked the employees to stop sharing important documents and information on such platforms while working from home. Further, the officials have been advised to use the Virtual Private Network of the National Informatics Centre to connect to the office network for working in a robust security connection when dealing with official data.


While working on the new guidelines, the ministries have been asked to start following the new guidelines as soon as possible when dealing with restricted and confidential communication. Not only the messaging platforms should be used for sharing confidential information, but the same also should not be stored on the smartphone too.

No Smart Devices Should Be Used During Office Hours

All the Union Ministries and Departments have further been advised to stop using smartphones and smartphones during office hours, especially while discussing classified information of the government. In addition to smartphones and smartwatches, the guidelines also asked not to use HomePod by Apple, Google Home and Alexa by Amazon.

New Guidelines For Hosting Virtual Meetings

With the onset of the pandemic, the physical meetings have shifted to virtual meetings and it has become a part of the new normal for the past two years. Till now, the virtual meetings for educational institutions, government meetings and meetings of the companies were held on platforms like Google Meet and Zoom. However, there will be a change in this setup. According to the new guidelines, the officials should not hold any future meetings on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet that are owned by private companies that are based in foreign countries.


Instead of using these private apps, the government has asked the officials to use the video conference solutions which is provided by the Department of Advanced Computing, National Informatics Centre. Further, using a password will be mandatory for accessing the waiting room facilities and chat rooms. Also, the attendance for the same will be marked in these applications.

Why These Precautionary Measures Are Taken?

The government has started taking such precautionary measures because many countries have started using spyware in private applications for laying their hand on confidential information of the country which makes the private platforms extremely vulnerable to attacks. There have been reports where applications developed by other countries have been slyly installed on such applications and the servers of the same are intelligently planted in a different location and the information that is stored on such platforms then becomes accessible to the attackers.


In 2020, while citing the same issue, the Government of India banned more than 50 applications that have their origin in China was banned. Popular apps that were present in the list included WeChat, CamScanner, SHAREit and TikTok. For, the past few years, the Government of India has been taking active steps to ensure the digital security of the country and its citizens.



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