WhatsApp now encrypts all communications sent across its platform, regardless of which device a user has or what type of message they send by default.
In mid-March, we heard that encrypted voice calls would start to roll out ‘within weeks, adding to the already-encrypted text messaging option. Now, the company is delivering on that promise, according to Wired.
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The move will do little to enamour the company to the global security community, which has been embroiled in a debate about the balance between maintaining people’s privacy and providing some level of access for law enforcement.
Although sparked by the San Bernadino shooter case, Apple’s refusal to provide a workaround ultimately led the FBI to draw on third-party help to access the device – a skill it’s happy to now share.
Update: WhatsApp has now published a blog post on the move, saying:
“Encryption is one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about encrypted services and the work of law enforcement. While we recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.”