government banThe Ministry of External Affairs has issued a blanket ban on blogging, social networking or web email services aimed at preventing cyber attacks and leakage of classified information.

This ban would hit social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut and Ibibo, peer-to-peer sites like Kazaa, photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa, or external email services like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail.

The ban on websites is in place for Indian diplomats working from offices in India as well as officials posted in Indian missions abroad or who may be on foreign tours. (Also see: How to Access Banned Sites)

This move appears to be in response to systematic cyber attacks in recent years, the most recent originating from Chengdu (China) in 2008 from over 100 IP addresses.

As part of this drive, classified work would be done only on stand-alone computers, with the external drives removed.