The Indian Army recently issued a stringent WhatsApp order to its soldiers advising them to not join ‘open’ WhatsApp groups. The advisory was issued on July 9 earlier this month. Now, an Indian Express report reveals why the Indian Army had issued the order in first place. According to the report, several lapses by the officers led to secret documents in public space, which forced the Army to take the tough measure. The report gave details of a particular incident that was the reason behind the advisory.
According to the Indian Express report, an officer of the Brigadier-rank used WhatsApp to send a map with all crucial, strategic details to his brigade headquarters. Soon, the officer at the headquarters again used WhatsApp to send the same map to other officers. Soon, a highly sensitive, secret document was out in public.
The report says that incidents like this and several others forced the Indian Army to advise its officers from using the WhatsApp. The order had said “no Indian Army personnel shall be part of any large group(s) on internet based messenger/chat/email services. One to one messaging is however permitted in a closed knit group, wherein the members/subscribers are whose credentials can be ascertained, may be allowed”.
However, it should be noted that the Indian Army already has a stringent media advisory. The soldiers can’t post anything about troop movement or their postings on their personal; social media accounts. According to an India Today report, the Army fears that the information leaked on such social media groups can be used as propaganda material.
WhatsApp remains most popular messaging app worldwide. Recently, Sensor Tower released app-related data from its Q1 2019 Data Digest Report. And, the most downloaded app worldwide in the first quarter was WhatsApp with more than 223 million new installs. Messenger was the second-best performing app by downloads worldwide in Q1 2019 with close to 209 million installs. The next highest performing app was TikTok, followed by Facebook and Instagram.