Deutsche Post, Germany’s postal service, launched a free secure messaging app called SIMSme on Wednesday, providing customers with a solution to send encrypted text messages, photos, videos and contact and location information.
According to a report by Telecompaper, the messages are automatically encrypted by the sender and can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. For an extra cost (US$1.19), users can enable a “self-destruction” feature, which is much like ephemeral messaging app SnapChat.
The app is available for Apple and Android devices, and stores all data in Germany.
More providers, including Google and Yahoo, are exploring ways to help their users encrypt communications and protect them from government snooping. Recently, BlackBerry acquired a German security company whose technology prevents eavesdropping on phone calls or data and is used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany has been particularly eager to adopt technologies that help protect its citizens from the wide-reaching surveillance of the US government. Deutsche Telekom’s IT services arm T-Systems recently opened up a data center aimed at customers concerned with keeping data within country borders.
According to GigaOM, SIMSme does require access to the user’s address book, but Deutsche Post claims that it anonymizes that data and compares it to a user database in order to establish secure connections.