In wake of the FBI’s fight with Apple over unlocking San Bernardino’s gunman’s iPhone, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has expanded the default end-to-end encryption system to its one billion users, including 70 million users in India.
This means, no third party, including the parent company can access customers’ messages even if approached by law enforcement agencies for national security — messages will only be readable between the sender and the recipient.
While WhatsApp’s blog post says this will lock out cyber criminals, hackers and oppressive regimes, it fails to mention that it might also be providing a platform to people who intend to misuse it.
However, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to see what was in 109 messages that the terrorists exchanged with ISIS operatives in Syria, before shooting at a Prophet Mohammad drawing contest in Garland, Texas, the report added.
While encryption undeniably provides security in this new digital era, one cannot ignore the risks we are now exposed to. There is literally no barrier to hinder any mischief one might be up to—setback law authorities now face.
Koum’s core belief of protecting peoples’ private communication stands correct, but hackers claim creating encryption only puts users at greater risk from malicious hackers and hostile governments as any encryption can be decrypted as well.
Whether, end-to-end encryption can be hacked is still unknown, it is safe to say for now that WhatsApp serves as a haven for secure confidential information, irrespective of the designs its 1 billion users have.
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