All members of the army are requested to only use the Swiss messenger app Threema. There are several good reasons for this.
For security reasons, the use of short message apps such as Whatsapp, Telegram or Signal is prohibited in the Swiss Army.
From 2022 only Threema, an app from a Swiss company, will be used.
Threema does not pass on any data to the advertising industry and is not subject to the US Cloud Act.
In the Swiss Army, nobody should use WhatsApp for business communication anymore.
The desired app is called Threema.
The army has several reasons for this change.
The Swiss Army has banned its relatives from using WhatsApp for official instructions in the future. Now everyone – from the driver to the cadre to the soldier – should exchange information exclusively via the Threema messenger app, which is subject to a charge. The order to commanders and chiefs of staff came at the end of December via email. The letter is available to the “Tages-Anzeiger”.
Several reasons led to this decision – the most important: the security of the data exchanged. While apps like Whatsapp or Telegram and Signal finance themselves by selling data to the advertising industry, Threema only earns its profits from app sales. The app costs four francs.
Threema is not subject to the US Cloud Act
In addition, Threema is not subject to the Cloud Act law like US companies, explains army spokesman Daniel Reist. The Cloud Act obliges US tech companies to guarantee the authorities in the USA access to stored data even if the storage takes place outside the country. Whatsapp belongs to the US company Meta, formerly Facebook. Threema is different: the Swiss instant messaging service is based in Pfäffikon SZ.
As a further reason, Reist mentions the fact that Threema can be used anonymously, personal data is not displayed. The app is also compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation and is subject to Swiss law, according to army spokesman Reist.
For «internal» as well as for «confidential» information
Another point: One of the most popular functions on WhatsApp – the formation of groups – was used extensively by the army. 100,000 conscripts receive business information via Whatsapp's private service. “On the evening before the exercise, the platoon leader tells his people what to pack in their rucksack, whether they have to bring their assault rifle with them and where the meeting point is,” a company commander told the Tagi. But that should now be the end of it: it should no longer be possible to send business information on private channels.
In the future, Threema will be used for all business communication: from the “internal” level to the “confidential” level for some formations, explains Reist. The army's other means of communication, such as radios or data lines, will continue to operate independently. These are protected, but cannot be used by all members of the army because there is not a device available for every soldier.
Joy at the Schwyz company
The business version of Threema, Threema Work, has already been used in the federal administration – and thus also in the army administration. Army members who do not yet have the app must download it, everyone else will be reimbursed. It will be settled via the troop accounting.
The Schwyz company is delighted: “We take this decision as a compliment for our Swiss solution,” says Threema spokesman Roman Flepp. The company, which was created in 2014, serves 10 million users worldwide, according to its own information. 80 percent of them are in German-speaking countries, Germany is their main market.
My 20 Minuten
As a member, you become part of the 20-Minuten community and benefit from great benefits and exclusive competitions every day!