Google, if it wants to offer its Gmail service to Indian nationals, will soon have to set up servers locally in India and offer email addresses ending in dot-in (.in). Same holds true for Microsoft’s HotMail, Yahoo Mail, Rediff and every other web service that wants […]

Google, if it wants to offer its Gmail service to Indian nationals, will soon have to set up servers locally in India and offer email addresses ending in dot-in (.in). Same holds true for Microsoft’s HotMail, Yahoo Mail, Rediff and every other web service that wants to do business in India. These changes are being mandatory because of recent amendments in the country’s IT Act. Government officials are using the Mumbai terror attacks and identity theft cases to push through these baffling changes in the IT Act. Stay tuned for more on this developing story. I wonder if more countries will follow suit, leading to the balkanization of web services. Any thoughts, folks?

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  1. First, they went after RIM saying they could not offer their service in India via Tata Teleservices unless the servers were in India. Nevermind that Vodafone and Airtel had been offering RIM services for years.

    Just more stupidity from Indian government officials.

  2. Completely irrational and illogical move from this government…. First basic thing is can they even guarantee uninterrupted power? I work with a major investment banks unit and few times a day we have power cut and everything runs on our own generator…. Running a datacenter in india probably would be more expensive than anywhere because one has to run generator for few hours to keep power…(Diesel is not subsidized if one is procuring for power generation )

    Complete stupidity from Indian Government officials…..

  3. Looks like our so called “IT Law Makers” haven’t got past the stone age. Those were the days when somebody got sick and the person was secluded/isolated for fear of spread of the disease.

    Is there an opportunity that lies with the new age entrepreneurs to club together and present a better option to the law makers of this country ?

  4. Harshad Sharma Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    The Government seems to think locking down the Internet is a solution to preventing its misuse. Would they also neuter all Indians because humans produce humans, some of whom become criminals. What better than to nip the problem right where it begins… isn’t it?

  5. Illogical, nonsense and useless are three words which come to mind. This causes hassles to service providers, but absolutely no benefit to the government, people or the country. What prevents a criminal or terrorist from registering an email address that doesn’t end with .in and using it in India? There are a thousand ways to by-pass location detection methods. When that happens, are they going to ban anyone without a .in email address from accessing free email accounts in India?

  6. I only have one question…which Indian webmail company greased the proper wheels for this legislation to go through?

    1. After Satyam is gone, there must be some consolidation of power. Too bad I don’t follow political news :)

  7. Another one from our stone age babus. Well what else do we expect from people who spent their entire time studying for the civil services and wagging their tails for the political masters post getting in. SuperStupidSuckers

  8. Nikhil Narayanan Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    AFAIK Yahoo! has been using country specific domain names for quite sometime,but it can be bypassed by giving the US as location and a random US Zip code.
    So, what is the whole point of this exercise?
    Assuming IP is detected and ‘location’ can not be changed while an ID is created,what if the terrorists(who attack India) have their ids created by someone sitting in the US;that means that mail server is NOT in India.

    I do not see the govt. directive as a solution to the menace.Or I am missing something.


    1. Besides, anybody with an intent to hide their tracks can easily use all those anonimyzer services out there even tor.

    2. But hey most Indians use their gmail account for accessing orkut and well why would set your address as US there =D

  9. It’s not irrational if they want to be able to control and monitor communications. It may be nefarious, anti-privacy, etc. But not irrational.

  10. Senthil Nathan Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    I do not know how this is going to help the government. I have the same questions raised by Nikhil. It will inflict more suffering for Indian users because servers in India will face more downtime and reliability issues. This shows that Congress doesn’t have one single person who understands IT. Not long ago they banned blogspot.com domain name because somebody posted some nonsense on his personal blog on blogspot. Absurd. I am hearing that BJP is more IT savvy than congress government. Advani claims to be so. They have installed servers in all their regional offices. They are also leading the way with big budgets for banner ads on premium sites.

    These kind of stupidity is common in India. Last week I entered a railway station through a main entrance which was heavily guarded with metal detectors and luggage scanners. Then when I walked to a next platform I saw people freely moving in and out through a unguarded side entrance. Objective here is to show some stupid officer or stupid politician that some action is being taken. Results does not matter.

    Do not be surprised if some idiot in this government comes with idea like all ISP’s should block websites which are not hosted in India. They may even ask wemasters to license the web domains with a separate redtape entrenched department for this. As long as these babus rule the country it will never become a “developed” country.

    1. Senthil,

      Sorry to go off topic, but yes the whole security issue in India is window dressing!

      I took a look at the BJP and Congress Manifesto’s and one of biggest issues for both parties is how to feed people. The solution:

      BJP – Allow each family up to 35 kg of rice/wheat at Rs 2/kg
      Congress – Allow each family up to 25 kg of rice/wheat at Rs 3/kg

      Yes, food is their biggest selling issue when going to the voters. Poverty is a hugh issue and sadly our technology issues really don’t matter when put to elections.

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