Sunday, January 23, 2022

Swiss army backs home-grown IM service amid privacy concerns

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The guard of honour of the Swiss Army stands prepared for the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on the Lohn residence of the Swiss authorities in Kehrsatz, Switzerland, Sept. 18, 2020. The Swiss army has ordered its ranks to cease utilizing international instant-messaging companies like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram for official communications, choosing a Swiss various partially over concerns about laws in Washington that governs how U.S. authorities can entry info held by tech corporations. Army leaders known as to be used of the Swiss prompt messaging service Threema, and a promotion for the service was posted Dec. 29, 2021 on the Swiss army’s web page on Facebook—which, like WhatsApp, is owned by the U.S. firm now often known as Meta. Credit: Alessandro della Valle/Keystone through AP, file

The Swiss army has instructed its ranks to cease utilizing international instant-messaging companies like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram for official communications. Instead, it is choosing a Swiss various—partially over concerns about laws in Washington that governs how U.S. authorities can entry info held by tech corporations.

Army leaders, in a letter to high commanders final month, known as to be used of the Swiss prompt messaging service Threema, and a promotion for the service was posted Dec. 29 on the Swiss ‘s web page on Facebook, which, like WhatsApp, is owned by the U.S. firm now often known as Meta.

Officials have cited an enhanced want for safe communications as Swiss troopers have fanned out to assist the response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the Alpine nation.

A letter despatched to army chiefs final month mentioned Threema “must be used for all service communications,” including that “no other messaging service will be authorized.”

Army spokeswoman Delphine Schwab-Allemand, in an e-mail on Wednesday confirming reviews on the difficulty in Swiss media, appeared to melt the army’s place, saying that there was a “recommendation” that troops use Threema. It took impact on Jan. 1. She added that the army can’t and doesn’t wish to inform troops to make use of a selected app on their personal units.

As Threema is a Swiss-based firm, info it holds is not topic to the U.S. Cloud Act, she mentioned, referring to laws handed in a 2018 spending invoice that governs how U.S. authorities can get digital communications held by expertise corporations.

Some main privacy teams opposed it. The Swiss army says the Threema app adheres to laws in Europe about .

Unlike many different messaging companies, Threema would not require customers to supply a or .

The Swiss army mentioned it’ll reimburse troopers for the 4-franc (about $4.40) to be used of the Swiss app.


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