On Tuesday, Whatsapp announced that it’s implementing end-to-end encryption, an upgrade to its privacy protections that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to read users’ messages—even the company itself. Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable encryption for hundreds of millions of phones and tablets that have Whatsapp installed—by some measures the world’s largest-ever implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service.
Whatsapp will now integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device.
Whatsapp’s messaging encryption is limited to Android, and doesn’t yet apply to group messages, photos or video messages. Marlinspike says that Whatsapp plans to expand its Textsecure rollout into those other features and other platforms, including Apple’s iOS, soon. He wouldn’t specify an exact time frame, and Whatsapp staffers declined to comment on the new encryption features. Marlinspike says the Textsecure implementation has been in the works for six months, since shortly after Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook last February.
Also TextSecure relies on a feature called “PFS-perfect forward secrecy” that creates a new encryption key for each message sent.
It has also been told that this is the largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever.This also means that hundreds of millions of users can now communicate without being spied upon by NSA’s, government agencies.
Today more than a billion people are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family all over the world. And now, every single one of those people can talk freely and securely on WhatsApp.