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France is scared of Telegram, so they are making their own encrypted messaging app

By William Gayde · 5 replies
Apr 17, 2018
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  1. Just days after a Russian court ordered a ban on encrypted messaging app Telegram, the French Government has also come out with fears of their own. French President Emmanuel Macron and his inner circle have all been heavy users of Telegram. This has security officials worried about potential issues that may be caused by using the app. As a result, France is testing its own internal private messaging app with the goal of keeping all the servers and data associated with it within French borders.

    A spokeswoman released the following statement to Reuters:

    “We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russia. You start thinking about the potential breaches that could happen, as we saw with Facebook, so we should take the lead.”

    This new app is designed to protect government officials from data breaches and the prying eyes of foreign governments. In the past, Russia has demanded that Telegram hand over encryption keys to the government. This would allow the FSB to access the private messages of Telegram's users. In addition, France has also cited the recent Facebook privacy debate as another reason to move their officials to a more secure platform.

    There are currently about 20 officials testing the app, but security officials hope it will become mandatory for everyone by the summer. The app is based on freely available code from the internet and may eventually be made available to all citizens.

    Encryption is hard and one of the first lessons in security is not to build your own cryptography, but if France can design a secure system, it may serve as a model for other governments around the world.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,200   +1,625

    This is kind of different than the deal with Russia. Sounds like it's just for French government communication or whatever Emmanuel Macron talks about with his inner peeps.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +1,768

    Who would trust a government created encrypted app?
  4. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    Anyone outside US, Russia or China (other horrific less known places do exist)? I would gladly give all my info to our government, and as they already have all my info I can't see how it would affect me in anyway. Same laws would be in place as for normal calls and such so it's not like there would be police trying to jail people based on their messages alone, you'd first have to do something stupid before they would start looking at your messages. This is one of the best ideas for a while and I hope all european countries follow their example so we can get rid of US companies spying on us.
    regiq likes this.
  5. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,211   +670

    Because it sounds like they made the app using open-source code. If they used open-source code, it must stay open-source. Anyone should be able to audit the app's code to verify both privacy and security.
  6. the government, this one is for the French President and his Circle. Canada has the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). They provide cryptographic codes/devices to Canadian government and the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Godel likes this.

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