WhatsApp rolls out full end-to-end encryption to its billion users

WhatsApp, the Facebook owned instant chat platform, is rolling out its full end-to-end encryption, ensuring that each message, photo, video, file, voice message, group chats and voice calls user’s send are encrypted. The encryption is by default, given the users chatting are using the latest version of the app.

WhatsApp states that in the years to come, people’s digital information and communication will be far more vulnerable to attacks and the only way to protect users is end-to-end encryption.

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The company has been working on the encryption for the past two years, partnering with a company called Open Whisper Systems to integrate the Signal Protocol into their product. Of late, owing to the FBI vs Apple case, user encryption has become a topical issue and apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have increased their encryption.

According to Open Whisper Systems, the encryption will be progressively rolling out Signal Protocol support for all WhatsApp communication across Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, Nokia S60, Blackberry, and BB10.

“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” Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder of WhatsAppWhatsApp, said in a blog post.

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The company states that it understands that law enforcements have to do their jobs but it argues that “efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.”

The full end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp claims, is secure such that not even the company can access its users’ data, rendering any requests for users’ data impossible.



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