The Swiss Army has banned the use of the WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram messaging services for military purposes, the Swiss media reported on Wednesday.
The army command wants to make internal communication more secure by banning the three apps for military purposes. This has been the case since January 1, reported the Tages Anzeiger and other newspapers in Switzerland associated with their holding company Tamedia.
According to the Tages Anzeiger, the Swiss military has chosen the “safer” Swiss messaging provider Threema for this.
“Since the company is based in Switzerland, it is not subject to cloud law like American companies,” said the daily army spokesman Daniel Reist.
According to this law, US authorities have access to data of American companies, even if they are not stored in the USA.
Threema can also be used anonymously and does not require any personal data.
The report says that the military should generally use Threema for business communications at the “internal” level and, in some formations, down to the “confidential” level.
Other military means of communication such as radios or tap-proof data lines would continue to operate independently, said the army spokesman.
WhatsApp, owned by the US company Meta (formerly Facebook), is the most widely used messaging application in Switzerland.
According to surveys cited by the Swiss media, it is the application of choice for more than 80% of 16 to 64 year olds in the country.
The Swiss military plays an essential role in Switzerland, as every male citizen is obliged to do military or community service.