The French government is building its own encrypted messenger service to ease fears that foreign entities could spy on private conversations between top officials.
About 20 officials and top civil servants are testing the new app which a state-employed developer has designed with the aim that its use will become mandatory for the whole government by the summer.
Facebook, which bought WhatsApp in 2014, has drawn heavy criticism since it acknowledged that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
France’s new app has been developed on the basis of free-to-use code found on the internet that could eventually be made available to all citizens. That is, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, or change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. Although neither names of the code or the messaging service have been released yet, high hopes for the service are in place.
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