Popular messaging app WhatsApp boosts security with complete end-to-end encryption

Posted:
in iPhone
Facebook on Tuesday announced that WhatsApp, its popular mobile messaging service, is now using end-to-end encryption for all communications, not just one-on-one text exchanges and VoIP calls.




The extended security will protect group messages and file transfers as well, Facebook said in an official blog post. As a result, even the company should be unable to view what users are sending to each other, regardless of whether it's served with a government search request.

WhatsApp first began fully encrypting one-on-one messages by default in 2014. The new security is on by default in the latest version of the WhatsApp iOS client, as well as on other platforms.

The change is unlikely to be a welcome one with U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies, which have become increasingly concerned about communications "going dark" to surveillance. Indeed, the Justice Department was already considering legal action to circumvent WhatsApp's earlier limited encryption.

End-to-end encryption is a key feature of Apple's iMessage. Indeed, one reason government agencies may want direct access to iPhones is that it's the only way they can read a suspect's text messages.

Fully-encrypted messaging apps are quickly becoming de facto. Another example is Signal, a favorite of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. WhatsApp's new encryption was in fact developed using software by Open Whisper Systems, the firm behind Signal.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,198member
    Prepare to get a subpoena soon WhatsApp. 
  • Reply 2 of 15
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,147moderator
    I hear the FBI is coming out with its own competing messaging service it hopes the world will adopt.  It's called AllWritsApp.
    edited April 2016 staticx57macseekerjony0jkichlinequadra 610boltsfan17fotoformatJanNLrsfriendnolamacguy
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Looks like Silicon Valley has launched the next volley in the war with privacy against the alphabet soup "law enforcement" agencies and politicians. Guessing DC will lose in the public arena.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 15
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    Why is this news? Wassup is late to the encryption game. Furthermore, the app won't do diddly until it's given access to all contacts, which is a privacy violation all on its own.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,718member
    WhatsApp, the terrorists' IM client. /s

    all our data should be encrypted. 
  • Reply 6 of 15
    designrdesignr Posts: 540member
    jungmark said:

    all our data should be encrypted. 

    Pretty soon it will be. The FBI case probably lit a fire under some butts.

  • Reply 7 of 15
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,198member
    I wonder if WhatsApp has dormant cyber pathogens like iPhone's do? 
  • Reply 8 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Still refuse to use this app, even if it has FBI-protection.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    I think IM encryption is covered.  Anyone know if Apple has plans to drive adoption of encryption of email, end to end?  This has been a PITA for decades.  While the FBI has the attention of silicon valley, NOW is the time for everyone to get together and implement via PGP standard on all clients from Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.. Get er done.
    edited April 2016 macseekeroseamelostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 15
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,159member
    cpsro said:
    Why is this news? Wassup is late to the encryption game. Furthermore, the app won't do diddly until it's given access to all contacts, which is a privacy violation all on its own.
    Over a billion people use it. So it's a highly used app and pretty much the number one used IM app in the world so it's big news.
    quadra 610
  • Reply 11 of 15
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    cpsro said:
    Why is this news? Wassup is late to the encryption game. Furthermore, the app won't do diddly until it's given access to all contacts, which is a privacy violation all on its own.
    Over a billion people use it. So it's a highly used app and pretty much the number one used IM app in the world so it's big news.
    Ooh, over a billion "users" couldn't be wrong. Wassup is an anti-privacy tool, now owned by Farcebook. Those billion+ "users" are suckers. Broadcasting that the app now uses end-to-end encryption just helps bring in more suckers.

    "Users" is in quotes because probably half of registered users or those who downloaded the app and discovered it wanted to access their contacts are not using it. Just like half of Farcebook and Tweeter users are fake.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 12 of 15
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,159member
    cpsro said:
    Over a billion people use it. So it's a highly used app and pretty much the number one used IM app in the world so it's big news.
    Ooh, over a billion "users" couldn't be wrong. Wassup is an anti-privacy tool, now owned by Farcebook. Those billion+ "users" are suckers. Broadcasting that the app now uses end-to-end encryption just helps bring in more suckers.

    "Users" is in quotes because probably half of registered users or those who downloaded the app and discovered it wanted to access their contacts are not using it. Just like half of Farcebook and Tweeter users are fake.
    So what app do you propose people use instead to use as an IM to communicate with people?
    quadra 610
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Great news for terrorists. WhatsApp is the way to go.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 172member
    ireland said:
    Still refuse to use this app, even if it has FBI-protection.
    It's protection is limited since it has to be unencrypted for the user to you know, use it.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    koopkoop Posts: 337member
    cpsro said:
    Why is this news? Wassup is late to the encryption game. Furthermore, the app won't do diddly until it's given access to all contacts, which is a privacy violation all on its own.
    you mean the permission whatsapp needs to detect other whatsapp users in your contacts list? You're crazy dude.
    edited April 2016
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