The most popular instant messaging app in the world, WhatsApp, which touched 600 million users across the world only recently is rolling out new features every week now. After having introduced read receipts which let the users know whether their messages have been read by the recipient last week, it announced end to end data encryption for Android users across the globe by default on Tuesday. A move which might further help enhance its popularity.
The technology being used for this data encryption has been touted by none other than Edward Snowden.
End to end data encryption means that only the sender and receiver can read the messages. Messages being sent and received by WhatsApp users are being encrypted since last week, after the Zuckerberg owned network joined hands with Open Whisper Systems, a nonprofit software group.
This data encryption will make it impossible for ANYONE- not even the government agencies to intercept text messages, even if there is a warrant being shoved against anyone. The encryption has been made available for Android users already, without any details about the service being rolled out to users on other platforms. The protocol will be rolled out for all users across platforms in the near future, according to Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems.
“We’re interested in making private communications ubiquitous,” Marlinspike told Mashable.
The encryption has been made available to all android users across the world by default, meaning thereby that users do not have to do anything to turn it on and secure their data.
Marlinspike and his team of developers has been responsible for data encryption on some other well known and popular messaging apps like TextSecure (for Android secure messaging), RedPhone (for Android secure calls) and Signal (for iOS calls).
The apps which encrypt user data have been praised by technologists all over the world including Snowden, the NSA leaker who has exposed countless top-secret surveillance programs, preaching the need for more secure and private communication tools.
“Don’t send your texts unencrypted,” Snowden said during a recent talk with The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer. “Use programs like Redphone, like Silent Circle — anything by Moxie Marlinspike and Open Whisper System.”
Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, an app with a highly international user base, has always been a vocal critic of government agencies and other surveillance systems eavesdropping on private conversations, and has aired his views against cooperating with the government snooping on more than one occasion.