After about one year of testing, WhatsApp has announced that end-to-end encryption is now available for each one of its more than a billion users worldwide. While WhatsApp was working on encryption for text messages for quite long, it has now rolled out complete end-to-end encryption for everything including photos, videos, files, voice messages, and even audio calls.
It means from now onwards, every conversation will remain encrypted and will be between only you and the receiver. If you are in a group chat, then it will be among you and group participants.
As explained by WhatsApp in the official announcement,
“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation.”
The good thing is that this encryption is getting enabled for users via a server-side change. It means you don’t have to install any new update for getting this new feature. Once it is available on your device, you will see a message like the one visible in the screenshot on the left. You can tap on it to know about the encryption in detail.
WhatsApp’s move to encrypt almost everything in a conversation for every user has come at a time when we recently saw a serious legal battle between Apple and the FBI over the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino’s shooters. While the FBI managed to get the iPhone decrypted using a third-party source, Apple did not agree to its demand of creating a backdoor and creating a “GovtOS”.
If you are interested in reading about WhatsApp encryption in detail, you can do by visiting this link.