Army develops own mobile app for a secure internal communication

Army officers need not depend on external mobile applications for communicating with each other any longer as they now have a secure application of their own to chat amongst themselves. In the quest for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self Reliant India), the Indian Army has developed a simple and secure messaging application named ‘Secure Application for Internet’ (SAI).

The application reportedly is similar to commercially available messaging applications like WhatsApp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS, and uses end-to-end encryption messaging protocol.”It supports end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platforms over the internet. The model SAI scores over on security features with local in-house servers and coding which can be tweaked as per requirements.

There have been concerns about the use of commercial mobile applications by Army officials for communicating with each other may compromise security. Earlier this year, the Army had issued an order banning 89 apps for its personnel who were asked to delete popular apps such as Facebook, Truecaller, Instagram and games like PUBG from their mobile phones. The order was intended to plug leakage of sensitive national security information from phones of armed forces personnel.

The Army said its new in-house application, Secure Application for Internet’, has been vetted by CERT-in empanelled auditor and Army Cyber Group. The process for filing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), hosting the infrastructure on NIC and working on iOS platform is currently in progress. Secure Application for Internet will be utilised across the Army to facilitate secure messaging within the service. The application has been developed by Col Sai Shankar of the Indian Army.

It’s not just this application that would be a boost to the Army’s self-reliant mantra in the domain of technology as it has also developed a software for infrastructure management.
This will help the Army monitor land encroachment, manage cantonment roads including emergency closure, among other administrative works.