With the FBI saying it can now break into iPhones and even offering to help other law enforcement agents do the same, tech companies across the world have taken it upon themselves to protect the data of their users by all means necessary. According to a report first reported by The Wired News earlier, WhatsApp has just added something known as end-to-end encryption to its to all forms of communication on its platform.
What this means
This means that all messages including photos regardless of the number of people communicating within a group at any given time. This also means that not even WhatsApp staff can see your messages.
The WhatsApp encryption process (Source: The Wired)
This makes it practically impossible for messages to be decrypted at any time should authorities demand that WhatsApp provide some info in future related to its service. This could give the authorities some worry especially if they have to retrieve communication between suspected criminals who may have communicated using the WhatsApp platform because there are now about a billion users on the service.
So according to the diagram above “WhatsApp uses what’s called public key encryption: To send a message to User B, User A asks a WhatsApp server for a public key that applies to User B. User A then uses the public key to encrypt the message. User B’s private key—only available on User B’s phone—decrypts the message.” according to The Wired.
Not to worry though, this is all back-end stuff
War with the world governments
Again this brings to light the issue of privacy vs. security. The government is tasked with securing us while tech companies have an obligation to protect the data we give to them. What really happens if a government agency suspects a user of a crime and demands to see their communication pattern in order to facilitate their investigative duties? That my friends is the debate. All this comes as even more world leaders are named in leaked documents. which build mistrust between the leaders and their followers.