India is considering developing and using a chat application similar to WhatsApp and other homegrown secure communication networks, at least for government agencies, to insulate the country from future vulnerabilities stemming from geopolitical developments, two officials said.
A senior government official told ET that the way US companies such as Google and Qualcomm are preparing to cut ties with Huawei following Washington’s sanctions against the Chinese company has set alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.
“There are strong discussions that for strategic and security reasons, over a period of time, we should have email, messaging…all sorts of systems, at least for government communication, which doesn’t depend on outside players,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We need to make our communication insular.”
The official said there were ongoing discussions that any official communication must happen over secure and indigenously developed networks. “We should have some form of a sarkari WhatsApp.”
The thinking in the government is that all communication and data transmitted over those networks will be 100% stored in India.
The government’s plans come after the likes of Android, from the Google stable, said it would cut ties with Huawei’s smartphones after the US government on May 21barred the Chinese company’s products and also barred US companies from supplying software and components to that firm.
Source: Economic Times