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WhatsApp – the Facebook-owned messaging service – has given “near-absolute privacy” to a billion people worldwide. Wired senior staff writer, Cade Matz, introduces readers to WhatsApp’s reclusive founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, succinctly unpacks how and why the company made the decision to add encryption to its service, and persuasively analyzes the significance of this move: for users, for governments and for ongoing debates about the meaning and protection of “private speech.” getAbstract recommends this article to digital trend-watchers and those concerned about their privacy.

About the Author

Cade Metz is a Wired senior staff writer. He covers Google, Facebook, artificial intelligence, bitcoin, data centers, computer chips, programming languages, and other tech-related trends.

 

Summary

While the world watched the FBI battle with Apple about unlocking the iPhone, WhatsApp – a Facebook-owned messaging service – quietly completed a project to give “near-absolute privacy” to its billion users around the world. Its method  involves end-to-end encryption, meaning, that no one, not even WhatsApp’s technical staff, can decode messages sent through the service. More importantly, it means that WhatsApp is incapable of obeying “a court order demanding access to…content.” Whatever the final outcome of the present privacy...


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