After Koo for Twitter, Govt launches new app as response to WhatsApp: What you need to know about Sandes | Daily Current Affairs 2021

After Koo for Twitter, Govt launches new app as response to WhatsApp: What you need to know about Sandes

Posted by
Subscribe for News Feed

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
Currently, the Sandes platform is only available to authorised government employees

Like WhatsApp, the app offers features like groups, broadcast messages, message forwarding and emojis

While the Sandes app allows users to backup chat histories to a registered email, it does not allow users to change their mobile number or email address registered with the app

The National Informatics Centre has launched its own instant messaging platform called Sandes (meaning ‘Message’) mirroring that of WhatsApp.

Recent weeks and months have seen hugely popular social media and messaging platforms claim headlines for a myriad reasons stemming from patchy policies over content regulation to privacy. 

Recently, Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons after it appeared to ignore a directive from the government to suspend several handles that were allegedly propagating misinformation. Moreover, amid accusations that the micro-blogging platform had an anti-right wing bias, a number of politicians and celebrities have also migrated to an Indian alternative named Koo, urging others to follow suit. 

The Centre-Twitter spat also comes on the heels of a mass exodus from Facebook-owned WhatsApp as users flock to other messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram following the former’s announcement of an updated privacy policy that many have claimed strong-arms users into providing information that WhatsApp may then share with Facebook and other Facebook companies. 

Against the backdrop of India’s apex court requiring WhatsApp to provide a written affidavit outlining the limits of its privacy policy and making certain pledges towards the protection of user information, the National Informatics Centre has launched its own instant messaging platform called Sandes (meaning ‘Message’) mirroring that of WhatsApp. 

What is Sandes?

Currently, the Sandes platform is only available to authorised government employees. In April last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had advised government employees against using communication platforms like Zoom citing safety and privacy issues. 

There were some reports that government employees’ data had been compromised as work-from-home protocols entailed hasty adoption of certain technologies. This was believed to have emboldened the government to develop its own secure instant messaging platform, something that had, reportedly, already been in the works for a number of years. 

In August 2020, the NIC launched the Sandes app albeit in a different avatar. The app went by the name of GIMS, or Government Instant Messaging System, and as per latest reports, has already been rolled out among some sections of government personnel. 

Source: TN

Subscribe for News Feed