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Asian Governments, Businesses to Employees: Stop Using Gmail!


Countries in Asia are even more nervous about using big American tech companies like Google or Yahoo, thanks to the NSA’s leaked data collection program. Officials in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore once relied on mail services from Google and Yahoo to mail large attachments, but the Times of India reports that governments and businesses across Asia are making a push to wean their employees off American-based communications services and onto internal systems:

“Spokesmen at Japan’s foreign and defence ministries said transmitting work-related information through web-based e-mail services was strictly prohibited.

‘There has been a long-established rule within the foreign ministry against using such services as Gmail and Yahoo mail for work, and as a matter of fact we are not using them,’ said Masaru Sato, director of the foreign ministry’s international press division.”

Silicon Valley and Washington, DC, have become increasingly close in recent years. From lucrative government contracts to protection against foreign rivals, global tech titans need the support of a strong nation state. Obviously, the US government needs Silicon Valley too. What this story shows is that there are costs and complications to that relationship.

[Google office image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • jeburke

    Take care not to exaggerate this sort of thing in the wake of the NSA leaks. Companies,, institutions and government agencies have always preferred internal email systems.

    • ojfl

      I think you are right jeburke but this at least shows that companies should not allow themselves to be engendered by the government so much. They should keep each other at arm’s length. Clearly the relationship has become too cozy for these reactions to happen.

  • ljgude

    The best insight into Prism that I have encountered is on security expert Steve Gibson’s podcast No 408 published 12 June available at In it he credibly explains from previously published testimony and recent leaks what is probably going on. It even makes perfect sense of the word ‘prism’ in the context of surveillance. It also explains why the companies involved have probably been telling the truth when they deny that the NSA has access to their servers, and why that isn’t the point. Sic a tech savvy Intern on it WRM! I don’t think the MSM is going to get this right.

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