Web Log: What’s up with WhatsApp encryption?

Messaging service’s move means no one can spy on your communications

The Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has just announced full end-to-end encryption. What's up with this and what does it mean for its one billion users worldwide? Simply put, it means that no one, not even WhatsApp, can spy on your communications.

This will be welcome news to WhatsApp users who, in the past, have been subject to security and privacy blips including the 2012 website created by an unknown hacker to allow anyone to change the status of a WhatsApp user as long as they knew the phone number.

In February 2015 another security flaw allowed anyone to track the location of any WhatsApp user no matter what their privacy settings.

"This means that WhatsApp has, in one fell swoop, moved the user base of end-to-end encryption from those protecting trade secrets, enthused crypto-hobbyists, and whistleblowers to an actually significant portion of the world population. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this move for the security and privacy of ordinary users," said the Electronic Frontier Foundation. https://blog.whatsapp.com/10000618/end-to-end-encryption