The French Government has developed an encrypted messaging service so that public servants can exchange data and information on confidential matters with total security. It is an Open Source alternative to WhatsApp or Telegram.
It is called Tchap and its main goal is to improve the security of messages, guaranteeing the confidentiality of the French government's internal communications network. All content sent through this application is fully encrypted and temporary passwords can be used to increase security. In addition, control of the user ID is guaranteed and any account can be deleted without leaving any trace.
To develop this messaging service, the French government digital service used Riot and Matrix solutions, both Open Source. The first gave the communication network infrastructure and the second the ability to work with any protocol, thus ensuring the interoperability of the service.
Secretary of State to the Prime Minister for Digital, Mounir Mahjoubi, said that “with this new solution, the Government shows its capacity to work in flexibility to meet its concrete needs while using Open Source tools and limiting development costs. The sharing of information in a secure way is essential to the work of the cabinets but also to a more fluid dialogue between the administration bodies”.
Over 500 members of the French Ministry cabinets are already using the service. If the experience is positive, the communication network could be extended to other administrative bodies and even to external partners. According to DINSIC (Direction Interministérielle du Numérique et du Système d'Information et de Communication de l’Etat), other EU member states, such as the Netherlands, have already shown interest in the project.