Big step forward for encryption – Thanks WhatsApp!

WhatsApp has taken the huge step forward for user privacy today. A year-long partnership with Open Whisper Systems has resulted in end-to-end encryption being implemented across the app; switched on for all users by default.

Encryption has been a part of WhatsApp in some form for a while, but the main change for users now is that this encryption protocol now includes support for group chats and media messages. This integration has been a long process and has encompassed a number of OSes, including the old guard of Symbian and Blackberry among the standard iOS and Android.

End-to-end encryption means that only the sender and recipient can read messages sent. The mechanism in place by Open Whisper Systems means that the secure keys for the transport are negotiated on the spot and are not a pre shared secret. A method that adds an extra layer of security to the transaction.

In the press release announced on a good number of reasons why end-to-end encryption has been implemented are listed. With a sly mention of the recent hurrah over the iPhone unlocking case that was recently withdrawn from court in the US. With Apple standing up for the rights of its consumers and avoiding a slippery slope judgement.

One of the WhatsApp teams core beliefs is to protect peoples private communications and today they have taken a big jump in the right direction. With excellent reasons.

The desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs we have at WhatsApp, and for me, it’s personal. I grew up in the USSR during communist rule and the fact that people couldn’t speak freely is one of the reasons my family moved to the United States.
Today more than a billion people are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family all over the world. And now, every single one of those people can talk freely and securely on WhatsApp.

Read more over at


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