Just when we thought WhatsApp end-to-end encryption was third-party-proof and still dancing in the euphoria, lawmakers in the UK have successfully created a backdoor to tweak WhatsApp security encryption.
WhatsApp introduced the “end-to-end” encryption of chats, messages and media sometime in 2016. A lot of people particularly WhatsApp users rejoiced and thought the era of utter privacy hath finally come into reality. The encryption even upsurged the number of users on the messaging platform as new users flocked their respective app stores to download WhatsApp into their devices.
Alas, the reality was cut short too soon enough. Who knew? – that the UK government wasn’t happy with the security measure introduced by WhatsApp.
The United Kingdom government have passed a bill into law, the Investigatory Powers Act. This law compels tech companies (including WhatsApp) to hand over chat details, web and message histories to the government upon request. Going by Asianage’s report, WhatsApp and all other tech companies will be legally required to create a backdoor for the authorities to access information upon request.
“All the companies or platforms with over 10,000 UK users must provide and maintain the capability to disclose, where practicable, the content of communications or secondary data in an intelligible form to remove electronic protection applied by or on behalf of the telecommunications operator to the communications or data,” a draft of the law by a group, Open Rights Group (ORG) reads.
“The powers would also limit the ability of companies to develop stronger security and encryption,” ORG continues
It is noteworthy to state that the UK government have been on this battle against WhatsApp end-to-end encryption for months now and finally won.
You care to know my fear? That other countries, 3rd world or developed, would want to “copycat” this law. It is only a factor of time.
Note that the Investigatory Powers Act isn’t banning or scrapping WhatsApp end-to-end encryption. Messages, media files and status are still encrypted. The difference however is that messages can be “unencrypted” for the UK government.
Do you see Nigeria passing this kind of Act into law?