Reporters are devastated to learn that police can access the full content of WhatsApp messages. The new guide published by the FBI does not fully explain law enforcement snooping powers. For example, it does not cover how law enforcement can physically access a device. And end-to-end encryption will not protect the contents of a phone. So, the FBI guide is inadequate. Moreover, it doesn’t discuss the extent of physical access law enforcement has.
WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption
Whatsapp’s encryption features help keep your messages secure. While it is possible to send messages through the app without encryption, it is not entirely secure. Depending on the system used, business vendors or employees may be able to view your messages. To ensure your privacy, make sure to review your company’s privacy policies. You can also choose to have your messages sent through WhatsApp encrypted by using the Signal Protocol. Open Whisper
Systems developed this protocol, which uses a lock and key on both ends of the conversation.
It doesn’t store messages on its servers
While there are some privacy concerns about this, it is worth remembering that WhatsApp doesn’t keep messages on its servers, meaning the police cannot read your private chats. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption makes interception nearly impossible, but it does allow law enforcement officials to retrieve messages by retrieving a backup of the user’s device. While this might not always be enough to prevent snooping, it is an extra measure to protect yourself from such an invasion.
It only shares metadata with law enforcement
If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you should be aware of the privacy policies of various online services, including WhatsApp. WhatsApp only shares metadata with law enforcement authorities in limited circumstances. In the event of a criminal investigation, the FBI may have access to the data of WhatsApp users, free android spy apps including phone identifiers and IP addresses. Some of the data that law enforcement can access may include location data, unless you have blocked it or deleted it.
It won’t protect users if their phone is seized
While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption makes it difficult for law enforcement officials to gather your messages and photos, a whistleblower complaint filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year details the company’s use of artificial intelligence systems, external contractors and user account information. This whistleblower complaint alleges that WhatsApp’s claims to protect users’ privacy are untrue. While a spokesperson for WhatsApp said that the company hasn’t seen the whistleblower complaint, the SEC has taken no public action.
It’s vulnerable to socially engineered attacks
WhatsApp is vulnerable to socially engineered attacks, which take advantage of human psychology to spread false information. Check Point Research identified a recent attack called “FakesApp,” which allowed people to abuse the quote feature by changing the text of a reply from another user. Hackers can use these vulnerabilities to plant fake messages, decrypt WhatsApp messages, and even see data exchanged between WhatsApp’s mobile and web versions.
It’s more secure than other messaging apps
Compared to other messaging apps, WhatsApp offers better security than other apps. Its encryption technology, end-to-end, prevents unauthorized parties from reading or decrypting messages. The end-to-end encryption also prevents third-parties from accessing calls or messages sent through WhatsApp. This means that only the users can read or listen to each other’s messages. This feature makes WhatsApp the safest messaging app.