The Swiss army has instructed personnel to stop using “foreign encrypted messaging services” such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram, the Associated Press reports. It is said that the notice was issued via a letter to top army staff in December, citing privacy concerns based on US authorities’ ability to access data.
Instead, its top brass has ordered staff to use the Swiss-made Threema app instead. To bring you up to speed, the platform is an open-source premium messaging service that is available on desktop and mobile devices. Threema touts its service to be fully privacy-oriented, featuring its own end-to-end encryption for all of its communications, and does not necessarily require its users to link their phone numbers or email addresses to the app.
Furthermore, the platform’s servers are home-based and do not fall under US jurisdiction, unlike most of its competitors. The Swiss army says the Threema app adheres to regulations in Europe about data protection.
It is speculated that the move was decided due to primary concerns regarding the ability of authorities in the US to access data stored by companies that fall under its jurisdiction. These companies are required to adhere to the US CLOUD Act, which requires them to comply with search warrants issued by the US authorities, regardless of where their servers are located.
From pocket knife to messaging app, the Swiss Army really knows how to equip its personnel with the right tools. 🙌 https://t.co/fbTyZ4wCoE
— Threema (@ThreemaApp) January 7, 2022
Meanwhile, Threema has taken pride in the Swiss army’s decision to drop all of the foreign messaging apps in favour of its own. “From pocket knife to messaging app, the Swiss Army really knows how to equip its personnel with the right tools,” the company tweeted.