Senate president Hun Sen has suggested that government officials and members of the armed forces begin using CoolApp, a Cambodian-produced messaging app, noting that it will ensure confidentiality and protect communications within the Kingdom in the event of a foreign social network being disrupted.

“I have been trying out CoolApp. It was produced and launched by Cambodians, and I call for more people to use it.

“One of my goals is to encourage Cambodians to embrace science and technology and design their own products, while I also have to be mindful of national security. Using CoolApp will make it difficult for foreigners to interfere with our information,” he said, via a June 23 social media app.

Hun Sen highlighted that many other countries have developed their social networking systems, such as China's Wechat, Vietnam's Zalo, South Korea's Kakao Talk and Russia's Telegram. He noted that the Kingdom’s first communications app is now available on the App Store and Play Store.

“Civil servants and the armed forces should use CoolApp to ensure ownership of both confidentiality and disconnection from foreign countries’ social networking. CoolApp uses confidential encryption, meaning no one, not even the company itself, can access or view messages. Of course, we do not forbid you from using your current social networking apps,” he said.

He noted that he uses eight social networks, including the recently released CoolApp. He added that he has installed the app on six smartphones, tested it out, and found three aspects of the app are particularly user-friendly.

Hun Sen explained that first, it is easy to install and begin using, without having to wait for a code or any length of time. Second, it sends text, photos, videos and voice messages quickly. Third, all calls, including video calls, are clear. He said CoolApp uses less data than any other social network.

“This is just my test. If you want to try, please do, including those abroad. Of course, some of you have already used this app with me,” he added.

Stung Treng Provincial Administration spokesman Men Kong, who uses CoolApp, told The Post that all messaging apps were created with a specific purpose, and privacy features for each user or administrator. 

He said CoolApp has many features which make it different from other social media apps. 

“I believe that it is better than many other social networking apps that are being used. I have noted that new users who do not engage much with social media have described CoolApp as a bit more complicated to use than Telegram or WhatsApp. 

“However, we think CoolApp is much better. We support this app and encourage the team that created this app for all Cambodians,” Kong said. 

CoolApp said in its website post that with end-to-end encryption, users’ messages, data and calls remain secure, adding that “Only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to them — nobody in between, not even CoolApp”.

Royal Academy of Cambodia secretary-general Yang Peou expressed his support for the use of the new app.

“When we use social networks from foreign countries, they can take our information. However, this way, we can produce our own social network, which is one way we can manage our data,” he told The Post on June 24.

He suggested that the process of using the app should start with the leadership, as Hun Sen has announced its use, adding that an announcement should be made that anyone who wants to contact the government and its leadership must contact them via CoolApp. 

“Everything depends on the will of the politicians and the will of the leaders. If the leaders see that this app is secure and works well, it should be used. 

“If people use other social networking to communicate, they should not be welcomed. By doing this, in the future, they will begin to use the new application,” he said.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy (CID) president Pa Chanroeun noted that in the digital age, communication in both daily life and at work is done through apps, of which Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal are the most popular.

He told The Post on June 24 that the creation of CoolApp by Cambodian technicians is an excellent way to meet the needs of internet users and modern digital systems.

“Research has found that in order for a mobile app to become popular, it needs to be simple, easy to use and operating it should not be disruptive,” he said.

“If an app respects the rights and freedoms, and especially the privacy, of users, while ensuring their safety and security, it will be successful,” he added.

He believed that if CoolApp has these features, it will soon attract more users in Cambodia.

Hun Sen explained in a June 21 social media post that CoolApp meets the same foreign standards as Telegram and WhatsApp, while saying that was created by a team of Cambodian technical experts who are IT professionals. CoolApp's Chat app has been running for more than three years, he noted.

“CoolApp has many functions, including chat, voice call and video call. Data and calls are all encrypted and secure using Internet Local (Dix) which makes calls sound clear. Within the chat function, sending pictures and videos is faster because the internet does not go abroad.

“CoolApp is a source of pride for the nation. It is the first such application that belongs to the Kingdom, and will become a vita; part of our security domain,” he said.