India wants to develop its own chat app for government communication

By Shaheryar Ehsan on
June 27, 2019
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India is looking to develop its own alternative of WhatsApp for government communications, according to a senior official who spoke to Economic Times. The move has been triggered by the recent ban imposed by the Trump Administration on Huawei and the Indian government is not looking to take any risks. They want less reliance on foreign companies and for that, they will be working on developing their own in-house solutions.

A previous attempt at developing a first-party chat application for government communication was made by France through Tchap. The chats are encrypted however 24 hours after its launch, a security flaw emerged in the app which shows the difficulty in implementing this solution even if it is for a restricted community. Despite that flaw, Tchap’s code is open source and anyone wishing to implement a similar solution can use that as an inspiration to make their own applications.

Previously, the Indian government was trying to make its own Linux-based operating system called BOSS for use in government offices. This move is just another step in the direction to reduce reliance on foreign entities, something which China has done over the years by restricting many companies like Google from operating in the region. How long it takes India to develop their own chat app is another question since government communications have to be secured otherwise they could risk leaking confidential info to public.

In Pakistan, IESCO employees use a mobile app for resolution of customer complaints but whether that is also a chat app is unknown. Do you think there is a need for in-house apps in Pakistan too?

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