WhatsApp finally completed its effort to completely encrypt every call & message over its application. Meaning that even if WhatsApp wanted to, the employees would not be able to peer into the users’ messages or hand them over to the snooping authorities.
On Tuesday, the company announced that the messages that are sent over the service are only deposited in a meaningless muddle on the WhatsApp servers by default.
The recent update took a year & a half to roll out, affecting the billions of users of the messaging service’s. The announcement from WhatsApp comes amongst something of cold war between Silicon Valley & the US govt. on problems of encryption &privacy.
The highest-profile case of this faceoff occurred between FBI & Apple, where govt. started a legal battle to coerce Apple to open an iPhone used by 1 of the San Bernardino terrorists. However, last month, the lawsuit tersely ended because FBI managed to break into phone, through an unknown technique without Apple’s help.
While the scheduling may seem perfect in wake of that debate, WhatsApp has been on the route to strengthen the privacy since Nov. 2014, when it collaborated with the Open Whisper Systems to implement the nonprofit’s encryption protocols.
“The desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs we have at WhatsApp, and for me, it is personal,” said Jan Koum – the founder of WhatsApp.
“I grew up in USSR during communist rule & the fact that people could not speak freely is 1 of the reasons my family moved to U.S.,” he added.
The new privacy criteria could affect the billions of WhatsApp users; nevertheless, the end-to-end encryption is dependent on all communicants being upgraded to software’s latest version. WhatsApp client will inform users as to whether or not their messages are completely encrypted.
Senator Richard Burr who is the chairperson of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Monday had said that he’d soon unveil legislation that would control the encrypted communications.
WhatsApp’s founders, in a blog post has gestured at the govt’s enmity with encryption, assuring the users that “no one can see inside the message.”
“Not cyber criminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us,” said the blog post.