French Prime Minister Advises Ministers to Switch from WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal to a Paris-Made Alternative


Olvid, an emerging messaging product from Paris’s startup ecosystem, is promoted as a more secure alternative, despite being less widely known

France’s Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, has urged her cabinet members to avoid using widely adopted instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram. Instead, she has advocated for the adoption of Olvid, a relatively lesser-known product emerging from Paris’s startup ecosystem, which is promoted as a more secure alternative. The official communication circulated among ministers, confirmed by Reuters, advises installing the Olvid app on mobile devices and computers to enhance the security of exchanges containing sensitive or confidential information, according to the Prime Minister’s office.

The communication stated, “The main consumer instant messaging applications are playing an increasingly important role in our day-to-day communications. However, these digital tools are not without security flaws, and so cannot guarantee the security of conversations and information shared via them.”

Olvid, led by two cryptography researchers and supported by various French tech accelerators, is subject to a deadline of December 8 for ministers to transition from their current messaging applications. Prime Minister Borne expressed concerns about the vulnerabilities in mainstream consumer messaging apps, emphasizing their inability to ensure the security of conversations and shared information.

Mainstream messaging platforms like Meta’s WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal have become prevalent in French political communication circles, with officials using them even in interactions with journalists. Allegedly, President Emmanuel Macron extensively utilizes these messaging applications.

Olvid, as highlighted on its website, positions itself as the pioneer and sole messaging system operating without reliance on trusted third parties or centralized servers. It further claims to encrypt user metadata, distinguishing itself with enhanced security measures.

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