Thursday, April 7, 2016

WhatsApp Encrypts 1 Billion Users and Promptly Drops Mic

In attempts to find an analogy of the sheer amount of encrypted users using end-to-end encryption of phone, video, chat and images using WhatsApp, I came across this statistic:

That's right, it would take 32 years to count the amount of users (today) that now have  end-to-end encryption using WhatsApp. That's freaking huge. 

I think we'll all remember the Apple vs FBI case as the spark that lite the fire, but in reality the work being done behind the scenes at WhatsApp took place long before the FBI bungled the San Bernardino iPhone. There has been a steady increase in encryption being pushed down to the consumer level, mainly due to privacy concerns with the mistrust of governments and organizations handling data, that has fueled this effort to become commonplace. 

What many will see is the FBI cracking one iPhone and WhatsApp turning on encryption two weeks later for 1 billion users. I don't think this was due to this case alone (the sheer design change would be massive), but needless to say, it didn't help. Once hearing this I can honestly say that I downloaded the app for the first time and will use it along side Whisper Systems, Signal App, for increased privacy and security. 

When thinking about the government requesting data from WhatsApp after encryption being enabled end-to-end, especially after they were starting to focus their attention on them previously, all I could think of was this GIF:


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