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Take That, FBI: WhatsApp Is Now Fully Encrypted

This was a long time coming.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

WhatsApp has finally finished its end-to-end encryption update so that all of the messages sent using the app are unreadable to the company (and thus, the authorities).

WhatsApp, the standalone messaging app owned by Facebook, has been nearly 100 percent end-to-end encrypted for months. The hangup to getting things finalized was encrypting video calls, a challenging technical endeavor for videos sent between different kinds of operating systems, CEO Jan Koum told Wired.

The move, while a long time coming, won’t likely sit well with U.S. agencies currently fighting Silicon Valley to create more access to user communications, not less. (Perhaps you remember the Apple vs. FBI drama from the past two months.)

WhatsApp has already run into issues around encryption in Brazil, where a Facebook executive was arrested after WhatsApp failed to hand over user messages in court. It claimed it didn’t have them because of the encryption. Expect more of that in the future.

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