Saudi Arabia plans to launch WhatsApp alternative digital platform

KACST is working to launch a safe national platform that enables users to connect and work together in a secure virtual environment, share information, and perform text and voice conversations inside the organization, as it is an alternative to commercial products currently available such as the famous WhatsApp application.

Basil Al-Omair, the Director of the National Information Security Center for Science and Technology at King Abdulaziz City, confirmed to Okaz that the center’s national platform was designed by Saudi researchers, pointing out that the platform would see the light within one year.

KACST Director Al-Omair said: “Many commercial goods can be stored on external servers and monitored by foreign agencies, and can contain hard-to-discover back doors. The benefits and advantages of the application built by 100 per cent Saudi cadres would ensure that it is free from any back doors, thereby ensuring confidentiality.

Al-Omair clarified that they usually target government departments, organizations and businesses and not the ordinary consumer. The work of the platform is focused on the use of nationally developed encryption algorithms and systems that achieve the highest degree of security and privacy, and concentrate on the implementation of the encryption principle.

The project aims to remove the risks of storing and preserving private and sensitive information and data on servers outside of the Country, as needed.

The application can also be mounted on different types of systems and smartphones, including Windows-run desktop computers and smart phones with various operating systems.

The designers used proprietary algorithms that provide improved performance relative to publicly existing algorithms and used in related products.

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