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GIMS

GIMS

What’s in news?

The government is testing a prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms for secure internal use.

Key data’s:

  • 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.

Background:

  • 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.

 

Links to note:

https://www.iasipstnpsc.in/spyware-pegasus/

https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/government-testing-gims-its-secure-messaging-app-6169018/

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