Amid alleged spying via Pegasus Spyware, the Maharashtra government has released new guidelines for the state government employees on using mobile phones during offices hours.
While leaks associated with the Israeli spyware, Pegasus have made global headlines and sparked political controversies, there has not been an outright denial from either the Indian government or NSO that the Indian government is a client or uses the Pegasus software.
At a time, when the Pegasus Project is releasing the list of Indian politicians, journalists, and others who were allegedly targeted using the spyware, the Maharashtra government seems to have no chill and therefore has now issued new directives and guidelines for the state government employees on using mobile phones during offices hours and has also stressed that their use should be minimised.
Although it is important to note that these rules by Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra came at a time when a few of the public representatives have been making allegations of their phones getting trapped when Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government was in power in the state of Maharashtra.
The revelations by #PegasusProject has given a scandalous insight into what allegedly is the workings of Modi govt.
Has the Modi govt employed 'lying & spying' to destroy our democracy & attack our freedoms?
— Mumbai Congress (@INCMumbai) July 19, 2021
The New Directives
Amid all this chaos, the state’s general administration department issued a government resolution laying down the rules that lay emphasis on the use of mobile phones in the offices. The government said that for most cases landline should be the preferred mode to make calls by the employees. It was also guided that the employees should try to avoid the use of social media during office hours.
Apart from this, it was also stated that the government employees should try to be polite while answering calls. With a number of guidelines, it was even guided that mobile phones should be used only if necessary for official work otherwise use landlines, while texts should be preferred over calls.
Here’s the list of protocols that the state has laid down for the government employees:
- Officials should use landlines on priority and should use mobile phones only when necessary.
- Government employees should maintain decorum during office hours while using phones.
- Officials should speak briefly, courteously and maintain decorum.
- Officials should not fight and argue on phone.
- Employees should answer phone calls of people’s representatives and senior officials on priority without delay.
- Text messages should be used more if mobile phones are to be used at all and conversation through these devices should be as little as possible.
- Officials must put their phones on silent mode during meetings with seniors.
- Officials should not use earphones during meetings.
- Officials should not switch off phones during official tours.
- Internet browsing and checking messages should be avoided during meetings.