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Google is looking to set up a cache server in India, says report

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Technology giant Google is looking at setting up a cache, or mirror, server in India which will enable quicker searches and stream YouTube videos faster, reports the Economic Times. According to the publication, Google is in initial discussions with  fibre manufacturer Sterlite Technologies to co-locate the servers wherever the latter’s fibre network is being created.

Currently Google caters to the Asian markets through its data centres in Taiwan and Singapore. A cache server in India would mean that Google would set up a dedicated network server that saves web pages or other Internet content locally. The temporary storage in cache server both speeds up access to data and reduces demand on a company’s bandwidth.

“Google is high in search and high on videos and the fibre infrastructure is going to be very critical for videos from the bandwidth perspective and for search for the latency perspective,” Anand Agarwal, chief executive of the Vedanta Group told ET. “Going forward, Google would have caching servers that can be co-located wherever our network gets created,” he added.

Sterlite Technologies is a manufacturer of optical fibers, telecommunication cables and power transmission conductors and exports optical fiber to overseas markets in China, Europe and South East Asia. Sterlite Technologies has around 200,000 homes connected to its network in six cities. The fibre network is being used by telecom service providers (TSP) including Airtel, Tata Teleservices and Idea, apart from Internet service providers (ISP) such as Spectranet, on a fixed revenue share model.

It’s worth remembering that the central government has been Internet companies to set up servers in India repeatedly . But it does raise a lot of questions on privacy as India has its own NSA-like surveillance programmes called Central Monitoring System (CMS) and Netra.

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It needs to be noted that C-DOT is developing CMS in association with Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TREM) and is being manned by the Intelligence Bureau. The government could use data from CMS along with that available via Aadhaar and pass it around the various government departments through the NATGRID, which will be rolled out soon,  to stop terrorism. However it could also be used to target people who might be against the government. That being the case, it needs to be seen how this project evolves and how exactly it is used by the government agencies.

A report by Reporters Without Borders also pointed out that the traditional interception systems transmit data only upon official request. The CMS however, automates the interception process. The monitoring cells, as well as government agencies, enjoy direct access to web users’ data, which is collected without service providers’ approval from the internet or mobile phone networks.

Image Source: Flickr user Torkild Retvedt

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