A new indigenously developed alternative to WhatsApp is now being used by some government officials. The app, called Sandes, was announced the previous year by the Indian government as an alternative to WhatsApp and is now being beta tested by the government officials to look for any bugs and give feedback.

The gims.gov.in page for the app offers some insight into the app, including the log-in methods that will be available. Although, the details of these clickable options are classified, as the portal is encrypted and only selected government officials can access them.

It was initially speculated that the app would be called GIMS (Government Instant Messaging System) but has instead been christened with a local name.

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The reason for a native messaging app stems from the multitude of leaked conversations on Whatsapp and its seemingly insecure network. Moreover, WhatsApp’s new privacy policy states that it will be sharing user data with Facebook, something which it is suspected of doing long since.

The Sandes app will be released on both Android and iOS platforms and will have features similar to other, popular messaging apps including WhatsApp Itself. The programming of Sandes has been delegated to The National Informatics Centre (NIC) wing of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. NIC has been working on the Digital India initiative and is also involved in India’s IT network.

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