Today, WhatsApp Messenger has announced that it’s rolling out full end-to-end encryption for all instant messages (IMs), calls, photos, and videos sent using its service. The move sees the Facebook-owned company follow Apple’s iMessage policy, and is particularly significant given the recent debate concerning mobile security and the San Bernardino case.
Strong security for all users
Over at its website, WhatsApp goes into more specific details concerning the move. There’s even a full technical breakdown for anyone interested in learning more about the security of their messages. The bottom line, however, is that WhatsApp’s adoption of full end-to-end encryption means nobody apart from the sender and recipient will be able to access the content of an individual message when using the service.
WhatsApp has experimented with end-to-end security over the years, but today marks the service’s full deployment of a proper system for users.
However, the move could indeed see WhatsApp embroiled in a case similar to Apple’s stand-off against the FBI over mobile security. Before now, we’d heard that the U.S. government was eyeing WhatsApp’s encryption with suspicion, and was even considering “legal proceedings similar” to those levelled against Apple concerning the San Bernardino case. Describing the “gibberish” that mobile encryption turns sent and received messages into, federal prosecutor Joseph DeMarco explained that the only way around is for the company in question to help.
And if that company refuses, then legal action is required to navigate around (or even outright remove) this impasse.
For now, users can be assured that this move makes their messages all the more secure, and all the more private. And best of all, end-to-end encryption applies to WhatsApp’s service across all compatible platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
You can download WhatsApp Messenger using the link below.