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WhatsApp encryption preventing US Justice Dept from wiretaps

The US Justice Department is reportedly looking into ways to wiretap WhatsApp conversations in an unnamed (non terrorism related) criminal investigation, reports the New York Times. It adds that the investigators have been slow at doing this because of the current encryption employed by the messaging service, some of whom state that a judge should force WhatsApp to help the government get encrypted info. Meanwhile, the US Senate is working on a draft legislation to penalise tech companies for refusing to comply with court orders by refusing to provide information in investigations. The NYT report adds that the Justice Department could obtain a second court order to ask WhatsApp to decrypt the messages required for the investigation. WhatsApp enforced end to end encryption for its service in 2014 after failing Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) mobile app security test, and does not let anybody but the sender and receiver access these messages. Related reads: - WhatsApp plans to encrypt voice calls over the coming weeks - FBI & Apple hearing scheduled this month: Developments & timeline Any information can be accessed by anyone The EFF, along with 46 computer scientists, security experts and mathematicians prepared an amicus brief which stated that creating a custom version of iOS which disabled key security features violated the US’ First Amendment, while Stanford University added that if the San Bernardino order was upheld, it would create a legal precedent permitting the US government to compromise the security of anybody and everybody around the globe. Facebook exec booked…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

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

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