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India Now Wants Access To Google and Skype 366

crabel writes "A couple of weeks ago India went after RIM and its mail service; it has extended its hunger for data now to all telecommunications. All telecom companies have to give them access to all voice over IP services that go in/out or happen within the country. Heck, they are even going after VPNs used by corporate employees working remotely."
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India Now Wants Access To Google and Skype

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  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @10:39AM (#33435512)

    trying to look at the bright side (sort of). selfishly, I realize that-

    but if there is fear in US companies that they can no longer trust people in india (eg, tech workers) because the risk of losing their competitive edge either to the government or other companies might be too much.

    if I had signature authority on outsourcing for a company, I'd strongly reconsider pulling back any 'sensitive' work that is being done there. as of now, its no longer 'secure' (not sure it ever really was but now its totally worthless as a trustable domain).

    this could actually help tech workers in the US. in a left-handed kind of way, that is.

    suddenly, I'm all for india filtering and spying on its citizens!

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @10:43AM (#33435576)

    I'm not sure I'd even trust certs issued by any companies based in india at this point.

    Anyone have any suggestions which cert authorities I should be excluding?

  • Not A Surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anonymousNR ( 1254032 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @10:44AM (#33435596) Homepage
    When I was doing my masters(in India) , my friend through his relative was able to get a project with DRDO(One of India's Defence Research Department).
    His project was to develop a GUI in QT in linux for the Data Packet Sniffer program they already had in place, yes it reads all the incoming and outgoing emails of all the employees
    , and everybody knows about this and nobody cares about it.
    India has bigger problems called Corruption,Terrorism [],Communal Conflicts [] to deal with that everyone is treated Guilty until proven Innocent.
  • Anonymous (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:13AM (#33436064)

    I am an Indian and I wish my govt stopped this kind of pointless crap. I mean people get killed in broad daylight and people responsible are rarely brought to justice, and also guilty terrorists like Kasab have years long case and leaving all that the mostly semi literate idiots sitting in Lok Sabha decide that they need to see what I am mailing. No thanks.
    BTW if somebody actually reads my post, try googling how many of India's MP's have criminal records, you will be surprised.

  • Re:S/MIME (Score:1, Interesting)

    by son.of.sun ( 1889694 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:17AM (#33436116)
    The Indian IT law requires that the person encrypting the message (if from India) or the person intended for receipt (if the sender is outside India) provide the encryption key to the security agencies on being ordered to do so under law. This is despite some obvious loopholes in the expectations that the person being asked to do so is even technically capable of doing so. So S/MIME or GPG or other custom encryption methods don't really make sense for the intent you're suggesting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:20AM (#33436156)

    Firstly, TFA links to USA today, which attributes the tabloid-ish Times of India, which quotes anonymous officials.

    Secondly, It's not logical that India will piss off Google and MNCs considering the investments they's pouring in.

    It's more likely they'll ask for help and work something out that balances security and privacy concerns.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:25AM (#33436216)

    The Indian side of me understands completely where they are coming from. Shit, America is doing the same thing, just undercover. India is a large target for terrorist attacks and this is one way they can monitor the Indian public and anyone who communicates with the Indian public for any terrorist activities.

    I'm not saying its right, based on American laws...but what native Indian is going to fight this? They all want to be safe. They don't want to worry about another Mumbai attack.

    The American side of me understands where most of the posts here are coming from. Invasion of privacy, corrupt governments using information against its own people, and the thought of someone having all information about you at their fingertips. Again, this all happens in America, but there are atleast some laws that protect us just a little.

    To the Indian government: I hope you can come up with another way to protect our people. Demanding things from businesses such as this is a truly poor choice for international business and, eventually, the trust of your people in you. Get that census thing done right, give every Indian an ID number, map out all of the towns in the country...pretty much turn India into today's US. Train a good military force, and protect the borders. It's time to play some good defense, and when called for, put that offense into effect.

  • by NetNed ( 955141 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:25AM (#33436224)
    Should be a lesson to all businesses that outsourcing has even more draw backs then originally thought.

    Have worked for companies over the years that outsourced design work there and it was a lesson in "you get what you pay for". S.O.P. not followed, formats disregarded, no concept of how to use software correctly, and not using any kind of standard in the dimensional drawings.

    If you have ever dissected a product and wondered why on earth it was designed in such a stupid way it is because of design taking a back seat to getting a product to market, outsourcing to countries with ill trained people that are akin to slave labor and pushed to get things out as fast as possible, and stupid design decisions based on saving $.01 even if it hurts the integrity of the product.

    Somewhere along the way corporations convinced themselves that people do not want quality products and instead would like to pay full price for something that will definitely break prematurely.
  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shoehornjob ( 1632387 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:41AM (#33436478)

    Bah, I've digressed a bit but the point remains - do business in America you American companies. Stop outsourcing everything, including the natural talent that America (used to?) have.

    American Corporations are suffering from a ravenous bout of greed and short term profit taking. Until they change their act or the government cracks down on outsourcing (neither of which is likely to happen any time soon) we're in for a long ride. I hoped that the government would attach conditions to all that bailout money we paid out but they failed us again. It seems like we will have to right up to the brink of complete failure before we get their act together.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jgagnon ( 1663075 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:41AM (#33436480)

    There really isn't much of a difference. Either way your business has the potential to lose assets simply because you're doing business in that environment. It's all about risk versus reward and so long as the reward for doing business in India outweighs the risks, businesses will continue their efforts there.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webminer ( 1619915 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @11:45AM (#33436544)
    Wow! This comment got modded 'insightful'? Really? Indian govt trying to do what US govt already does invites such hateful comments. Why am I not surprised. As usual Americans dont want to acknowledge the reality. Their govt already intercepts every possible communication. But when a foreign govt does it, suddenly there is a backlash. Atleast India is going public. BTW, China already does this. So, fuck US and China as well.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __aasqbs9791 ( 1402899 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:10PM (#33436910)

    I have an example for you. A company I used to work for in Vancouver, Washington outsourced entry level data entry to a couple of different companies in India. The cost was about 80% of what it cost us to have it down by employees here in the US. Except the quality was so variable (occasionally very good, but usually a high percentage of errors, varying from 20% to 100% (you wouldn't believe the sort of errors I found sometimes) and we demanded an error rate of less than 1% from our own employees (and could consistently get that from most), that we spent far more than that 20% discount in increased quality assurance costs. They finally stopped using them more than 2 years after this was pointed out to them. Sometimes businesses are glacially slow at reacting to problems, even really small ones (and this was a very small family owned company).

  • by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:15PM (#33436990)

    I agree with all your points, and the consequences are obvious:

    If a company wants to avoid this, they have to stop transferring sensitive work to India. First and second level support can stay there, because they deal with
    -already released products
    -and semi-public information (common support cases that are too frequent to keep the topic secret).
    What has to stay outside of India is most of development, and maybe third level support where more sensitive stuff is handled.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:33PM (#33438172) Homepage

    Is there any large company (ie. more then one building) which doesn't need secure communications?

    Today it's the VOIP and VPNs, next week it will be the encrypted email or whatever else is preventing them from snooping. If you're doing any kind of corporate business in India you should be planning to leave before your competitors figure out who to bribe.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kumanopuusan ( 698669 ) <goughnourc AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @06:59PM (#33443000)
    Interestingly enough, yen [] and yuan [] are merely different simplifications of the same traditional character [], which simply means round. The English transliterations may be different, but arguably it is a single written word.

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