WhatsApp Enables End-to-End Encryption for 1 Billion Users

One billion people around the world just gained access to end-to-end encryption for their instant messages. That's because the WhatsApp messaging service has just finished integrating a new encryption protocol known as Signal into all versions of the app by default.

That includes encryption of chats, group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls across all its mobile platforms, i.e., Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, Nokia S60, Blackberry, and BB10.

The development comes courtesy of a partnership announced two years ago between Facebook?EU?s WhatsApp and Open Whisper Systems, a communications security project that develops and distributes privacy tools.

A Winning Battle for Consumers

?EU?Over the past year, we've been progressively rolling out Signal Protocol support for all WhatsApp communication across all WhatsApp clients,?EU? Open Whisper Systems wrote in a blog post yesterday. ?EU?Users running the most recent versions of WhatsApp on any platform now get full end-to-end encryption for every message they send and every WhatsApp call they make when communicating with each other.?EU?

While the fact that more than 1 billion people now have access to some of the most secure encryption technology in the world is a major development, it could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Avivah Litan, a security analyst at Gartner Inc., told us the news is just a sign of things to come. ?EU?It?EU?s a winning battle for consumers,?EU? Litan said. ?EU?Point-to-point encryption is about as tight as you can get. It?EU?s what you have in the payment industry.?EU?

The timing of the announcement is particularly interesting, given the recent battle of wills between the FBI and Apple over the agency?EU?s attempt to force the company to break its own security.

After weeks of asserting that only Apple could help it access data in an iPhone in its possession, the Federal Bureau of Investigation...

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