What’s in news?
The government is testing a prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms for secure internal use.
- A prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Telegram under in testing for secure internal use.
- Name of the system: The name of the messaging system is “Government Instant Messaging System” or “GIMS”.
- Location for test: The platform is in the pilot phase testing stage across some states, including Odisha. In the future, it is to be tested in the Indian Navy.
- Designed by: The messaging platform was designed and developed by the Kerala unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- Need: The messaging platform was designed to reduce the security concerns as the foreign mobile applications like WhatsApp hosted few security concerns.
- Application: The platform can be used by both the central and state government organisations for intra and inter organisation communications.
- Specific provisions: Apart from one-to-one messaging and group message, it is possible to share the documents and media by using this mobile application.
- GIMS Portal: The portal is being developed simultaneously for the administration and monitoring of the platform.
- India agencies use – Most of the state and the central government use Facebook owned Watsapp and the Tax department use Telegram, a London-headquartered cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service.
How it is safe?
- The mobile application is safe to use because it was designed and developed within India and also with the other indigenous factors like;
- Server – hosting the application is installed within the country.
- Cloud storage – the information stored would be in government-based cloud. It is operated and maintained by National Informatics Centre (NIC) – the data can be used by the government and its departments.
- Like WhatsApp, GIMS employs end-to-end encryption for one-to-one messaging.
- Recently, an Israel-based spyware called Pegasus, targeted Indian journalists for spying. Due to the security issues, the new application has been developed.
- After the issue, CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) has said it had sought submission of relevant details and information from WhatsApp and NSO group.
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