wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, , ,

WhatsApp starts encrypting messages on Android via TextSecure

WhatsApp logo

Facebook-owned mobile messaging app WhatsApp has rolled out end-to-end encryption in the most recent update of its Android app.

This essentially means that only the sender and receiver will have access to the messages and WhatsApp won’t be able to decrypt any user text messages even if it’s directed to do so by law enforcement agencies/governments.

The company has partnered with open source mobile security services provider Open Whisper Systems to make use of the latter’s TextSecure protocol for this initiative. Open Whisper is known for developing mobile apps like TextSecure, RedPhone and Signal that allows users to make encrypted calls and send encrypted text messages.

Open Whisper mentions that the encryption is enabled by default for all users however its currently limited to one-on-one messages. It intends to roll out encryption for group chat and media in the future.

It also intends to roll out encryption to other mobile platforms like iOS and Windows Phone among others, though that’s likely to take some time. Open Whisper CTO Moxie Marlinspike told The Verge that the Android integration itself took about six months due to WhatsApp’s large user base.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Once the integration is complete, Open Whisper also plans to offer key verification options in these apps, however the company didn’t disclose any specific information on this.

Impact: Messaging apps like Silent Text and Telegram already offer similar encrypted messaging service, but what makes WhatsApp’s move unprecedented is the scale of implementation. WhatsApp had claimed to have over 600 million monthly active users globally, in August this year, of which about 70 million monthly active users are based in India.

Indian Government’s growing user data requests

Interestingly, this development comes at a time when the requests from the Indian government for online user data and restrict specific content is growing significantly. Earlier this month, Facebook had mentioned that it had restricted access to 4,960 pieces of content in India during the first six months of 2014 (January- June 2014), the highest among all the countries in the world, and a significant increase from 4,765 pieces of content during July-Dec 2013.

India also ranks second in the world, in terms of the total Facebook accounts for which governments have requested information during this period. The Indian government had sent a total 4,559 requests seeking information on 5,958 accounts to Facebook in the first half of 2014, a significant increase from 3,598 requests seeking information on 4,711 accounts during the second half of 2013. Facebook had complied with 50.87% of these requests. More on it here.

(With inputs from Vikas SN)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

You May Also Like


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ