Indian Army Launches Home-Made Messaging App Similar to WhatsApp

The Quint
·2-min read

The Indian Army has launched an indigenous secure messaging application called “Secure Application for the Internet” (SAI) that offers support for end-to-end encryption for text, voice and even video calling services for Android devices over the internet, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday, 30 October.

As per Entrackr, the app has been developed by Col Sai Shankar and has been tested by the government’s nodal agency CERT-in empanelled auditor and Army Cyber Group.

At the moment, it is confirmed that the application has been developed to be used by the soldiers of the Indian Army. There are no reports whether it will be made available for the general public.

Information about features, security and user interface is yet to be revealed.

The ministry has added that the filing of the Intellectual Property Rights, hosting of infrastructure on NIC (National Informatics Centre) and the process of developing the app for iOS devices is still underway.

“The model is similar to commercially available messaging applications like WhatsApp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS and utilises end-to-end encryption messaging protocol. SAI scores over on security features with local in-house servers and coding, which can be tweaked as per requirements,” said the ministry.

Also Read: Pakistan & China’s Espionage: Why Army Banned 89 Social Media Apps

The Indian Army had been proactively advocating against the use of commercial messaging services and applications that compromise the data security of the personnel.

Soon after the Indian government has banned 59 Chinese apps it had also asked the Indian Army to ban the use of 89 other apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vigo and even the dating app Tinder.

Also Read: Army Seeks Tightening of WhatsApp Privacy to Avoid Being Targeted

It was in November last year that the ministry had released an advisory asking its top-ranked officers not to use messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger (that tout to be end-to-end encrypted) to share official information.

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