France comes for internal government communication with its own chat app as an alternative to the encrypted message service WhatsApp.
That reports news agency Reuters. The app must be mandatory for the coming summer within the entire French government.
France fears that foreign powers will use WhatsApp to spy on senior officials. The officials do not have the possibility to use the popular message apps WhatsApp and Telegram due to imposed security restrictions.
Messages sent via WhatsApp are encrypted from sender to recipient. Even Facebook, owner of WhatsApp, cannot read the content of the messages. However, the company can make analyzes about who communicates with whom.
“We need a messaging service where the messages are not encrypted by the United States or Russia,” says a spokesman. With Russia she refers to Telegram, a Russian messaging app that also offers the option to completely encrypt messages.
The messaging app is currently being tested by about twenty employees of the French government. The app may also be made available to citizens later on. The spokesman did not want to say what the name of the app is.
The French messaging app is based on a free to use protocol to encrypt messages from sender to recipient. The French government spokesman did not want to say which protocol is involved.
WhatsApp uses the same protocol for its encryption as the message service Signal. Telegram, which is at odds with the Russian authorities, uses its own encryption method.