The Indian government is reportedly planning to build its WhatsApp-like chat app to facilitate secure communications amongst governmental agencies citing overdependence on American technology companies.
After being denied a backdoor into WhatsApp for security concerns, the move comes as a means to be independent of foreign entities when sharing official communications between government agencies and staff.
The government wants states to cut out the middlemen and set up a secure communication channel over indigenously developed networks. Further, the government also wants officials to stop using platforms like WhatsApp or Gmail in light of American companies resisting India’s data localization efforts.
“There are strong discussions that for strategic and security reasons, over a while, we should have email, messaging…all sorts of systems, at least for government communication, which doesn’t depend on outside players,” a senior government official told “We should have some form of a Sarkari WhatsApp,” the official added.
It all started when the government requested WhatsApp to allow traceability of messages shared within the platform by enabling a digital fingerprint. India is currently the largest market for Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and the messaging platform has been in a feud with the Indian government over not letting the latter trace messages shared between users.