Have you opened your WhatsApp app recently? If you see a pop-up that reads “messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption,” your messages are more private than ever!
It means your messages are immune to snooping and can’t be intercepted by hackers, governments or any other prying eyes. Not even WhatsApp itself.
From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats,” the company blog reads.
End-to-end encryption ensures messages can be read only by its rightful owners. Technically speaking, the messages are encrypted with a private key and only the recipient has the decryption key. This key never leaves the phone.
The company first announced its intention to roll out encryption back in 2014, when it was working on integrating a protocol named Textsecure, created by Open Whisper Systems.
For the past three years, we’ve been developing a modern, open source, strong encryption protocol for asynchronous messaging systems, designed to make seamless end-to-end encrypted messaging possible,” Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems, said in a blog post.
The announcement comes amid intense discussion over privacy, backdoors and terrorism. Encryption has become a hot topic in recent weeks following Apple’s high-profile dispute with the FBI, which compelled the company to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
To benefit from end-to-end encryption, users need the latest version installed on their devices.