In the wake of the legal battle between Apple and the FBI, WhatsApp end-to-end encryption has been activated across the entire service.
Apple’s campaign against the FBI’s requests to access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone – on the grounds that it would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ – has been put into perspective; WhatsApp end-to-end encryption has been activated over the entire service, securing personal messages around the world.
WhatsApp, which used by more than a billion people, is one of the largest communication networks behind the likes of Facebook. The addition of end-to-end encryption ensures that not only messages are secured from third party access, but further that voice calls, photos and videos – among other means of communication – cannot be accessed by WhatsApp itself were it ordered to intervene by a court in the same way Apple was.
Brian Acton, one of the two co-founders of the service, told Wired that “œBuilding secure products actually makes for a safer world, (though) many people in law enforcement may not agree with that”.
Acton is likely right; the FBI and US Justice Department have so far declined to comment on WhatsApp’s decision.
Joseph DeMarco, a former federal prosecutor, told Wired in an exclusive interview that “œThe government doesn‘t want to stop encryption… but the question is: what do you do when a company creates an encryption system that makes it impossible for court-authorized search warrants to be executed? What is the reasonable level of assistance you should ask from that company?“
The total end-to-end encryption was scheduled to be completed in January, but was subject to operational delays; Tim Cook’s open letter to consumers regarding Apple’s decision to refuse a court order to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone added fresh impetus to WhatsApp’s decision.
Thus far, Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, has declined to comment on the move, though the social network’s sympathies have already been expressed when it moved alongside Twitter to voice support for Apple in its court case against the FBI.
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Source: WhatsApp, Via: Wired