WhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption in its app so that only authorized users can decrypt messages. This development will make it harder for law enforcement agencies to gain access to suspect’s communications.
Last month, the FBI filed case against Apple to unlock iPhone involved in the San Bernardino case. They also demanded that Apple should create a backdoor in its OS so that the feds can access the device when required. But, the Cupertino based company refused to create a backdoor.
Now, when WhatsApp has implemented end-to-end encryption for over 1 billion devices, it’ll become harder for the law authorities to decrypt the messages of suspects or tap their calls.
Brian Acton and Jan Koum wrote in a blog post:
“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.”
Facebook owned messaging app’s use of encryption has created friction in Brazil. Recently, the Brazilian authorities arrested a Facebook executive after the company said it wasn’t able to decrypt a user’s encrypted message.
In end-to-end encryption each message is automatically encoded with an algorithm and it can be decoded only by the sender and recipient.
WhatsApp is not the only messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption. Some of less famous services, including Signal, Telegram and Wickr have also been using end-to-end encryption. The big tech giants like Yahoo, Google and Facebook use less extensive encryption to protect messages and emails while they’re in transit. These companies have the ability to scan messages and emails under a court order.