Army members should use the Threema messenger from Switzerland in the future. But enforcement will be difficult.
Daniel Reist from Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc said that members of the Swiss armed forces will only be allowed to use Threema while on duty, other messengers such as Whatsapp are forbidden for security reasons. Swiss media were able to see a corresponding letter from the army to all commanders and chiefs of staff. According to News Sky, The Swiss Army has banned on-duty personnel from using WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and similar messaging apps.
Other messengers besides Threema are allowed on private smartphones, but business messages can only be sent via the Swiss messenger. One reason for this is data protection, explained army spokesman Daniel Reist to the Swiss broadcaster SRF. Unlike American companies, Threema is not subject to the so-called Cloud Act. US law ensures that the US authorities have access to the servers of US companies that are located outside the USA.
In addition, Threema can be used anonymously and personal data is not given, explains Reist. During the first Corona mission in spring 2020, the army realized that better options were needed to ensure the flow of information between the individual units.
Private tools widely used in the army
The Swiss federal authorities and thus also the army administration have been relying on Threema Work, the business version of Threema, for some time. So now the entire military should use Threema, but primarily the version for private users. In order for this to happen, the costs for the app will be reimbursed and instructions for commissioning will be distributed.
The implementation of the resolution is considered difficult. According to the SRF report, various private tools such as USB sticks are already used in everyday military life. These are simply the most practical. However, sanctions are not provided.