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Govt to develop its own version of WhatsApp for official communication

Any formal communication must take place over secure and indigenously developed networks

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

FILE PHOTO: A person checks a WhatsApp message that he sent using one of the available software tools | Photo: Reuters

To protect India against increasing vulnerabilities from geopolitical tensions, the government is planning to develop and use a messaging application similar to and various homegrown and secure communication networks. The government has become ever more concerned after the way technology giants like Google and Qualcomm are severing relations with Huawei following sanctions by the US.

There is pressure on India also to bar Huawei from 5G, but New Delhi is yet to take a decision.

Primarily, these measures are being considered for government agencies, the Economic Times reported citing senior officials. According to a government official, any formal communication must take place over secure and indigenously developed networks.

He believes that for strategic and security reasons, the governmental organisations should have email, messaging and other digitised platforms which would not depend on outside players.

“We need to make our communication insular, we should have some form of a sarkari WhatsApp”, the official was quoted as saying in the report.

The Centre envisages having a system where all government-related communication and data transmitted over those networks will be 100 per cent stored in the country. After the introduction of a new indigenous app, all officers and government staff could not be permitted to use their personal messaging applications like Gmail or for official communication.

First Published: Thu, June 27 2019. 11:45 IST