Government Secure Intranet

Government Secure Intranet

Government Secure Intranet

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Government Secure intranet (GSi) is a UK government wide area network, whose main purpose is to enable connected organisations to communicate electronically and securely at low protective marking levels.

Use of GSi

Many UK government organisations use the GSi to transfer files on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis between similarly accredited networks. The network itself is open within the context of its accreditation - it imposes no restrictions on traffic types carried across the network, restrictions and policy control is left to the connecting departments. Email traffic in and out of the network is filtered by an external provider.


The concept of GSi was defined by the Cabinet Office, and was turned into practical reality by the Internet Special Products group of Cable & Wireless (then known as Mercury Communications) at their Brentford premises. GSi development started late 1996, and can be roughly dated by checking the registration date of its first domain name, '', registered 30 May 1997. It went formally live several months later (according to the CCTA this was February 1998).

The main drivers behind the development of GSi was the plethora of inter-agency connections in UK government which made managing security and connectivity budgets problematic. GSi not only provided better oversight, it also normalised connectivity. GSi was designed as an accredited, dual link connected TCP/IP backbone, it imposed no restrictions on what type of TCP/IP...
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