Nearly a year and a half in the making WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption has now been fully implemented on its platform and across all mobile platforms for which it offers apps.
The messaging app noted that users running the most recent versions of WhatsApp on any platform will now get by default, full end-to-end encryption for every message they send and every WhatsApp call they make, when communicating with each other.What end-to-end encryption means for the user is that the content of their communications will no longer be stored in plain text on WhatsApp’s servers. Moreover, the company will not be able to decrypt the user’s messages as they will not have access to the encryption keys; this will make it impossible for them to comply with any warrant for access from the authorities.
The company has been working on encryption since 2013, the year that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the level of government mass surveillance programs. Since then, WhatsApp has been integrating the industry-respected Signal Protocol, an end-to-end encryption framework from Open Whisper Systems.
WhatsApp users will be able to confirm the person they are chatting with is the person they think it is, rather than an imposter performing a man-in-the-middle attack, by verifying the authenticity of the encryption session via scanning a QR code or reading aloud a number string.