France prohibits government employees from using messaging apps


(MENAFN) A memo from Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, obtained by a French broadcaster on Wednesday, officially prohibits French government employees from using messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and others for internal communications, citing security vulnerabilities. This ban will come into effect on December 8.

Instead of these widely-used messaging platforms, cabinet members are advised to utilize the French encrypted messaging application Olvid. Unlike its global counterparts, Olvid doesn't require a SIM card or phone number from users and ensures encryption of both message content and metadata.

Notably, it's the only messaging platform to have received a security certificate from the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI). Tchap, another French messaging app, is also permitted for use.

This policy echoes a similar approach adopted by the Swiss military last year, directing soldiers to refrain from using popular messaging apps and switch to Threema, a domestically-developed encrypted messaging service, for both official and private conversations.

Borne's memo marks the second instance of app bans for French public servants this year. In March, Minister of Public Services Stanislas Guerini announced the prohibition of "recreational apps" like TikTok, along with Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Candy Crush, and dating apps, on government phones due to security concerns.

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