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France Bans Ministers From WhatsApp, Signal; Demands French Alternatives

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has banned widely used messaging applications WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal for ministers and their teams due to security vulnerabilities, according to a memo seen by POLITICO.

“These digital tools are not devoid of security flaws, and therefore cannot guarantee the security of conversations and information shared via them,” reads the document, dated November 22.

Borne set a deadline of December 8 for the government to switch to using the French app Olvid instead, which is certified by France’s cybersecurity agency ANSSI. Tchap, the government-developed secure messaging and collaboration app, launched in 2019, is also allowed.

The news was first reported by French news outlet Le Point.

“My team and I have been using it since July 2022. In December, the entire government will be using [Olvid], the world’s most secure instant messaging system,” French digital minister Jean-Noël Barrot confirmed on X.

The government previously ordered civil servants to remove all types of social media platforms, gaming and video-streaming apps — including TikTok, CandyCrush and Netflix — from their work devices over cybersecurity and privacy concerns.

Source : Politico