The Swiss army restricts the use of messaging applications

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The army command wants to secure internal communications through the app and has banned the use of Whatsapp, Signal and Telegram. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

The use of the WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram messaging services for military purposes in the Swiss armed forces must be prohibited.

This content was published on January 5, 2022 – 11:42

swissinfo.ch/ug

Instead, Swiss Threema software is to be used as a digital communication tool.

Data security is one of the reasons for the policy change, according to an army spokesperson quoted in a report published by Tamedia newspapers on Wednesday.

Threema is based in Switzerland and is not subject to the laws of another country, such as the United States, where the Cloud Act requires technology companies based in the United States to make data available upon legal request. Threema operates under European Union data regulations, the military spokesperson said.

The annual fee charged to Threema users will be paid by the military, but critics say there are no penalties for members of the military who continue to use other messaging tools.

During army support missions during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, it became evident that the flow of information between the different units needed to be improved, another spokesperson for the army to the Keystone-SDA news agency.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app among 16-64 year olds in Switzerland, according to surveys.

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