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WhatsApp activates end-to-end encryption for 1 billion users

WhatsApp now provides for the encryption of all its data. No one will be able to read or see other people's messages, not even at the request of a court.

The most popular messaging service in the world now includes encryption of all its data. This means that Facebook-owned app engineers will not be able to read messages or watch videos that users send, not even at the request of a court. WhatsApp end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the person with that you are communicating you can read the messages sent, no one else, not even WhatsApp explains the announcement on the app's website. End-to-end cryptography is not entirely a novelty for WhatsApp: it has been tested on hundreds of millions of Android users by novembe 2014. But it didn't cover all types of messages, videos, photos and group chats were excluded. Not even all the operating systems were interested, even if Android was the most popular one. The announcement was only the consequence of a path that affected the company for two years, gradually and imperceptibly to users, and has seen it at work since 2014 one of the major cryptography experts, Moxy Marlinspike.Now the encryption on all messages will be by default, for those who use the latest updated version of the app. Even the calls and group conversations commented Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp, in a Facebook post. There will be visible signs that encryption is active: an icon appears at the top of each chat and confirms that messages and calls are encrypted (if all participants in the conversation have the latest version of the app). Users can also verify that the chat is secure by using a QR code or by comparing the 60-digit string that is surely generated for each chat. It is not yet clear when all the encryption functions will be available on all operating systems, on iOS they were available from April 1, on Android from March 29. The topic of data sensitivity in case of trials is more current than ever: the vice president of Facebook for Latin America was arrested in Brazil (and then released) for not providing useful data in a drug case, and even Apple is addressing the issue of privacy with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which calls for bypassing the blocks of the iPhone. For Koum and his team the cryptography simply linked to freedom of expression: I am grew up in USSR when he was part of the Soviet Union during the communist regime and the lack of freedom of expression was one of the reasons why my family decided to emigrate to the United States commented Koum.

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