In a recent article WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is now using encryption that is said to be stronger than Apples’. By Apples’ I mean Apple Inc. not the bright red fruit. I mention Apples’ encryption because of the on going debate with the FBI. WhatsApp has increased in encryption to all transmission and not just messages i.e. photos, videos, messages, etc… It has already been warned that violent extremists and criminals can use WhatsApp to hide their tracks (BR, Bailey, & Writer, 2016).

Also in Brazil WhatsApp was the cause for a Facebook Inc. executive to be arrested (he has been released). Apple and WhatsApp are not the only companies that use encryption to protect the transmission of data. Other less popular services use encryption also. Signal, Wickr and Telegram use end-to-end encryption also (BR, Bailey, & Writer, 2016).

The outcomes of the debate between Apple and the FBI will be an interesting turning point for these types of services, and the history of encryption. Many things could come from the debate. What will happen next? Will the government take encryption for itself and require that all encryption methods contain a backdoor for government to access? Will encryption be added to the list of things that are illegal? Would everyone using encryption be considered a criminal or terrorist because they are hiding something? I do not know where the history of encryption will go, but it will definitely be interesting.

Grant Ryan

BR, Bailey, O., & Writer, A. T. (2016, April 16). WhatsApp extends encryption to photos, video, other messages. Retrieved from http://ksnt.com/2016/04/16/whatsapp-extends-encryption-to-photos-video-other-messages/
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