TRAI wants a national cloud network for e-governance and lawful interception of data

TRAI's consultation paper on cloud services proposes regulations necessary to manage these emerging services.

TRAI posted a consultation paper on cloud services on Friday. The consultation paper gives an overview of the current state of adoption of cloud services across the country, proposes regulations necessary to manage these emerging services, and poses questions on the specifics of such regulations.

TRAI wants to regulate the practices followed by cloud service providers to make sure that customers of cloud services can easily transfer their data from one service to another. There are also proposals to regulate deletion and erasure of data on servers after clients have withdrawn from a service. TRAI also wants regulations in place to monitor quality of service offered by companies that provide cloud technologies. These regulations are being implemented to help ordered growth in the industry, and give consumers the confidence to use regulated cloud services.

TRAI wants lawful interception of cloud data. Protection of national integrity and sovereignty is given as the reason TRAI wants to be able to intercept all cloud data. The government wants to be able to access cloud data for national security reasons. This will be done over the short term with Indian government specific agreements with cloud service providers around the world. There are some proposals to bring in frameworks that can handle laws from multiple jurisdictions when it comes to cloud data. There may be restrictions on cross border movement of critical data, such as data on financial transactions.

Cloud services are going to play an increasingly bigger role in e-governance. There is a proposal to develop a national cloud infrastructure to power government services. Existing State Wide Area Networks (SWANs) are going to be used for this. The data centers in 29 states and 7 union territories will be linked together by this national cloud network. Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is tasked with creating a national optical fibre network. Some states are in various stages of deploying Microsoft technologies for their governance services, including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra has worked with both Microsoft and VMWare for its custom cloud setup called MahGov.

The Department of Electronics and IT (Deity) is building the Meghraj cloud, which is the Government of India's cloud environment used by the government in the center and all the states. Meghraj cloud will ensure that all governmental implementations of cloud technologies use the same set of protocols, guidelines and standards.

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