WhatsApp unveiled “end-to-end” encryption today as part of its own fight to secure customer privacy against governmental intrusion.
“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat gat you send that message to. No one can see inside that message, not cybercriminals, not hackers, not oppressive regimes, not even us,” said WhatsApp this morning as the new encryption feature rolled out to customers.
As of today, WhatsApp messages will be encrypted from end-to-end, meaning that any message sent between two users can only be read by those two users, even if a government agency has a secret surveillance warrant in place to monitor an individual’s communications. WhatsApp launched the new encryption feature today in hopes that customers would remain confident that their communications were private and protected by strong encryption.
“We live in a world where more of our data is digitized than ever before. Every day we see stories about sensitive records being improperly accessed or stolen,” said WhatsApp today, defending the move to enable end-to-end encryption for all users of the popular messaging app.
The WhatsApp encryption, reports the Independent, is strong enough to prevent even government-level surveillance of messages while they travel between sender and recipient, causing some lawmakers and law enforcement officials to criticize the move. U.K. politicians, in particular, have proposed laws that would make strong encryption, like the encryption used by WhatsApp, to be illegal for consumer use.
“Encryption is one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age,” said WhatsApp in a statement on the end-to-end encryption feature this morning.
WhatsApp previously had encryption features in the popular messaging app, but it was still vulnerable to government surveillance, cyber criminals, and unwanted intrusion, in part because the encryption wasn’t comprehensive — some parts of the app, some parts of encrypted messages, were unencrypted. No more, says WhatsApp, as of today users of the popular messaging app received a notice at the top of the app, stating unequivocally that the encryption used by WhatsApp is end-to-end, meaning that it is effectively invulnerable to intrusion.
According to the Verge, the end-to-end encryption was rolled out to all of WhatsApp’s user-base after months of internal development.
So go and have a safe Whatsapp chat…..