The app is called Secure Application for the Internet (SAI).
In a bid to provide secure internal communication, the Indian Army has developed a WhatsApp like messaging platform. The app called “Secure Application for the Internet (SAI)” is a part of the government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign that will allow Army personnels to communicate within the teams. According to the government, the mobile app has been developed in wake of safety concerns that have been raised due to over use of commercial mobile apps. These apps were used by the Indian Army officials for messaging each other.
The application developed is quite similar to existing messaging applications like WhatsApp, Samvad, Telegram and Gims. SAI can support end-to-end secure exchange of texts, voice and video-calling services for Android platform. The government statement noted that the security features of SAI with local in-house servers and coding have been developed in such a way that can be tweaked depending on the requirements.
The CERT-in empanelled auditor and Army Cyber Group have examined the application. According to the government, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) filing process, hosting the infrastructure on NIC and the work for iOS platform launch is under progress. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that he has reviewed the functionalities of the SAI app and lauded Col Sai Shankar for his efforts in developing the application.
It is to note that the central government had imposed a ban on many prominent Chinese mobile apps earlier for issues pertaining over security. As a result, all Indian Army personnels were asked to delete more than 80 mobile applications from their smartphones. These apps included Facebook, Zoom, PUBG, Instagram, Snapchat, POPXO, ShareIt and Tik Tok, along with other dating apps like Couch Surfing, Bumble, Coffee meets Bagel, TrulyMadly, Hinge and Tinder. The decision was taken in order to prevent any kind of information leakage and also to ensure that the classified information with Indian Army officers is secure.