WhatsApp gets full encryption
Intelligence agencies attempting to access private citizens’ phone messages and telephone calls have their work cut out after messaging service WhatsApp announced full encryption for their one billion users. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum made the announcement in a blog post on its website. “When you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to,” he said.”No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us.”Similarly, WhatsApp will not be able to provide a user’s data even if legally obliged.WhatsApp said that while it recognises the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, its priority was ensuring strong encryption. “The desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs we have at WhatsApp, and for me, it’s personal. I grew up in the USSR during communist rule.” WhatsApp users began receiving messaging on their app early on last evening, informing them their entire communications will now enjoy complete protection with end to end encryption, meaning more than one in seven of the world’s population can communicate without cyber criminals or authorities snooping on their conversations.It is said that WhatsApp has been working with non-profit software organization Open Whisper Systems to enable complete encryption of all data on the platform.What this means for users is that there is greater assurance that no one will suddenly snoop into their chats and see the images or videos you are sharing, or listen in on voice calls made using the app. However, I would not recommend that users to share personal or sensitive information over the communication.
What end-to-end encryption means is that the message is scrambled in a series of digits, which can only be unlocked by the sender and receiver who are using the app itself for conversation. End to end encryption is considered to be a secure method of communication where only the people communicating can access the messages. Anyone snooping, anyone with a motive to hack, telecom service providers, internet companies, third-party apps and even government agencies cannot read encrypted communications.It also means that WhatsApp users can verify that their communications are not being intercepted by scanning a unique code on the phone of the other party they are conversing with. With the new developments, WhatsApp itself may not be able to access any user’s chats anymore, possibilities are they will not be able to assist in any potential government requests for the data of a particular user.This is a nightmare for intelligence agencies across the world but as they are known ‘intelligence,’ i believe they will soon find a way of getting what they want with or without help of WhatsApp.I also believe security agencies can get a copy of your communications and only thing they need is to have a warrant for that although it will hard to crack the system because of the strength of the encryption but nothing is impossible.WhatsApp is a free cross platform over-the-top messaging service which uses an internet connection to send messages. It allows group messaging, broadcasts and voice calls.WhatsApp’s user base in February 2016 reached one billion, according to the company.WhatsApp is extremely popular in Africa, Europe and Latin America and in other developing countries but it is less popular in the United States.