Cyber Security – CERTs, Policy, etc

Sandes: the government’s new Instant Messaging Platform


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sandes

Mains level : Secured instant messaging

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an instant messaging platform called Sandes on the lines of WhatsApp.  Open initially only to government officers, it has now been released for the common public as well.

Features of Sandes Platform

  • The instant messaging app, called Sandes, has an interface similar to many other apps currently available in the market.
  • Like WhatsApp, the new NIC platform can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone with a mobile number or email id.
  • Although there is no option to transfer the chat history between two platforms, the chats on government instant messaging systems or GIMS can be backed up to a users’ email.
  • It also offers features such as group making, broadcast message, message forwarding and emojis.
  • Further, as an additional safety feature, it allows a user to mark a message as confidential, which will allow the recipient to be made aware the message should not be shared with others.

Why need such instant messaging platform?

  • Following the nationwide lockdown, the government felt the need to build a platform to ensure secure communication between its employees as they worked from home.
  • The idea for a secure communication network dedicated exclusively to government employees has been in the works for the past four years.
  • In August 2020, the NIC released the first version of the app, which said that the app could be used by both central and state government officials for intra and inter-organisation communication.
  • The app was initially launched for Android users and then the service was extended to iOS users.

Limitations of the app

  • The limitation, however, is that the app does not allow the user to change their email id or registered phone number.
  • The user will have to re-register as a new user in case they wish to change their registered email id or phone number on the app.

Do you remember?

[Burning Issue] WhatsApp Snooping

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