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Govt considering developing ‘sarkari’ WhatsApp; our take

The Indian government is considering developing a “sarkari" version of WhatsApp and other homegrown secure communication networks for communication between different government bodies and agencies, reports the Economic Times. The idea behind such an insular communication tool and network is due to strategic and security reasons stemming from geopolitical developments, according to a government official. Washington’s sanctions against Huawei has left New Delhi deeply concerned and the government feels the need to communicate only over secure and indigenously developed networks. The thinking in the government is that in the case the US finds India to be “unreliable” they might direct their companies to slow down networks in India. If that happens, the government fears that things might come to a standstill since government officers “use their private emails, etc”. The official also said that all communication and data transmitted over those networks will be 100% stored in India. The official also informed ET that for now, all government to government communication should begin on the indigenously developed platform which can then be extended to all communication between the government and citizens. Taking cues from France and China Interestingly, India isn't the first country to think of a communication tool specifically for government use. France launched its Tchat app in April this year that is developed exclusively for official communication by government officers. The need to have a government-only chat app in France arose because the President relied on the usage of Telegram for communication and security experts believed that it…

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