As federal entities of UK, USA and Australia are engaged in socio-political spat over the pros and cons of end to end encryption, Whatsapp, which was a strong supporter of the same, has been fuelled by two back to back security enhancers lately, which is all set to affect its massive user base worldwide.
The "EARN-IT' bill being worked upon in the U.S. legislative assembly isa crucial clinching factor for the survival of end-to-end encryption in its current form. This would enforce best practices on the industry to "prevent, reduce and respond to" illicit material which cannot be done without breaking their own encryption.
Once the platforms introduce backdoors hackers will have an advantage of breaking in. Hence there is no mention of backdoors in the proposed legislation or the need to break encryption. The originator of objectionable content will pay for one's own deeds.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) describes this as "a major threat," warning that "the privacy and security of all users will suffer if U.S. law enforcement achieves its dream of breaking encryption."
Facebook which owns Whatsapp has been a major court crusader for end to end encryption supported by Apple and others who employ it to ensure user's security.
There has been a mention of FBI Director Christopher Wray in the legal proceedings who once argued in favour of WhatsApp's security when, as a partner with the firm King & Spalding, he "was hired to 'analyze and protect' WhatsApp's software from a Justice Department effort to weaken its encryption in order to conduct wiretap."
On the second note the U.S. National Security Agency published an advisory document on the security of popular messaging and video conferencing platforms.
It "provides a snapshot of best practices," and says, "coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security." The NSA goes on to say that it "provides simple, actionable, considerations for individual government users—allowing its workforce to operate remotely using personal devices when deemed to be in the best interests of the health and welfare of its workforce and the nation."
The NSA regarded WhatsApp, Wickr and Signal, the three platforms that are the strongest employers and supporters of end-to-end message encryption, highly.
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