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WhatsApp gains full end-to-end encryption – Sorry hackers

by Todd Haselton | April 5, 2016April 5, 2016 10:40 am PST

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Facebook’s WhatsApp announced Tuesday that, like iMessage, all messages sent through the service now feature full end-to-end encryption. That means it’s going to be harder for hackers and, probably, the government to peek into your conversations. In fact, WhatsApp says that it can’t even view the conversations, so your chats are going to be more private than ever before

“The most important thing to know is that end-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the recipients you intend,” WhatsApp said Tuesday. “And if you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don’t have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time.”

The firm said that it understands that encrypted conversations can make the work of law enforcement harder, but the app maker argued that “efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.”

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said that, in fact, private conversations are personally very important for him. “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,” he said, reaffirming that privacy is a core belief of WhatsApp.

You probably won’t notice the feature at all; just rest easy knowing that it’s on in the background.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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