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French Government Making Open Source Encrypted Messaging App

The French government is making their own Telegram / WhatsApp-like encrypted messaging app to run on French servers. Currently being tested it should be used by all departments of the French government by this summer. The app will run on OPEN SOURCE. A spokeswoman told Reuters that France wanted an app whose encryption isn’t controlled by the US or Russia. Over time this application may be available to the French people as well. (Quote about availability, end of this article).

We are told: ” (…) About 20 officials and top civil servants are testing the new app which a state-employed developer has designed, a ministry spokeswoman said, with the aim that its use will become mandatory for the whole government by the summer (…)”. See Source

Further Source: “(..) This project of ‘secure messaging is internal to the state’ was discussed last Friday on the France Inter, the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi. “We are working on public secure messaging that will not be dependent on private offers” he said (…)”. (Note: Translation may not be perfect).

We read: Un informaticien de la Direction interministĂ©rielle du numĂ©rique et du système d’information et de communication de l’État (DINSIC) a donc conçu une application propre Ă  la France Ă  partir d’un code “open source”, en y intĂ©grant des modalitĂ©s souhaitĂ©es par le gouvernement. >> Translation: A computer scientist (…) has designed an open source application belonging to France and incorporating the desired modalities required by the government. (Note: Translation may not be perfect). asks: “(…) Just why Mahjoubi wants a homebrew app is something of a mystery, since in common with all modern administrations, the French government has an extensive and encrypted parliamentary network and secured e-mail (ministerial conversations traverse the RIE, the ministerial network of the state, overseen by ANSSI, the National Agency for Information Systems Security) … ANSSI also certifies phones for ministerial use (…)”.

Announcement in French can be heard towards 14 minutes into this interview

PDF overview of French cyber security strategy: Revue stratégique de cyberdéfense

Further Reading:
More is Less: On the End-to-End Security of Group Chats in Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema