“Messages you send to this chat and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption” – If you’re a WhatsApp user, you must have seen this message pop up on your screen in the last couple of days. In case you’re wondering what that’s all about – you’re witnessing Apple’s latest maneuver in its privacy battle against the FBI.
The message is Apple’s reassurance that from now on, no one, not hackers, not law enforcers, not spy agencies, not even Facebook, or the owner of WhatsApp, can read messages shared between contacts, as they will get scrambled en-route. Apple has thus achieved a major feat, securing its more than a billion customers from any attempts at digital eavesdropping.
The service may prove to be a mixed blessing though. Initial responses to its introduction have been of relief that no one can gain access to private conversations, but already, law enforcement agencies, as well as regular customers, are pointing to the inherent hazards of such a step.
Many people feel that encryption is a good thing but there must be an authorized way for law enforcers to access information that could actually result in greater security for everyone, not less, as the access could open leads into criminal activities.
So even though the lid is tightly secured on your box of secrets now, the debate whether it should be there at all will go on for some time.