Wednesday, April 6, 2016
WhatsApp Introduces End to End Encryption to Improve Security and Privacy
WhatsApp just made a big step towards improving privacy and security for we its over 1 billion users. In a statement it made today, it said:
"WhatsApp has always prioritized making your data and communication as secure as possible. And today, we're proud to announce that we've completed a technological development that makes
WhatsApp a leader in protecting your private communication: full end-to-end encryption. From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats.
The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation."
This is obviously a reaction to the recent tussle between the United States government and Apple. Between 2015 and 2016, Apple Inc. has received and objected to or challenged at least 11 orders issued by United States district courts under the All Writs Act of 1789. Most of these seek to compel Apple "to use its existing capabilities to extract data like contacts, photos and calls from locked iPhones running on operating systems iOS 7 and older" in order to assist in criminal investigations and prosecutions. A few requests, however, involve phones "with more extensive encryption, which Apple cannot break with its current capabilities". These orders seek to compel Apple to "design new software to let the government circumvent the device's security protocols and unlock the phone".