WhatsApp is a global app that lets its users exchange more than just text messages.
It is possible to use videos, photos and voice recordings to transmit your message. However, these messages are encrypted and this is something that the UK, U.S. and other major super power countries are not really happy with.
In the recent wake of the growing attacks by terrorists, it has become a very sensitive matter to see users exchange encrypted messages over the internet. The idea of having encrypted messages has come a long way and now that this is becoming a ‘threat’ to the government and the world in general, those responsible for keeping the citizens safe have other ideas about this encryption.
WhatsApp has more than 800 million users from all corners of the world. This group of users is under fire thanks to a section of the UK politicians and the aftermath could be the first step to disaster for this instant messaging company. There is a new law that is being lobbied by these politicians and if it succeeds, it may see all of your messages availed to these security agencies. If the company is unable to comply with this law, then it may face sterner measures of being banned from the country.
It’s not just WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Apple will also be affected
There is a very interesting story building up in the UK and this might lead to an official ban on WhatsApp and other internet communication platforms such as Facebook and its Messenger app, Google Hangouts as well as Apple. The UK government has launched an official attack on encrypted messages and this is not the best news for WhatsApp as it just recently rolled out end-to-end encryption to its users.
The idea of having encrypted messages is also driving other governments and spy agencies crazy and it seems the US might also take a step into this development. The UK is the first government to react to this issue thanks to the fact that some UK citizens were recently murdered in Morocco. Through the Snooper’s Charter, the UK government is ready to take on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple and other platforms and demand the handover of private messages of every user to them. This is not the first time the UK government has made such an attempt as this bill was rejected in the last minute when it was first introduced in 2012.
WhatsApp must agree to incur costs or be banned
If the Snooper’s Charter succeeds, it will mean that WhatsApp will have to do away with their recent beefing up of the platform with end-to-end encryption. This will involve rolling back this update, which will of course cost the company a huge fortune. If this is not the case, then this instant messaging app will face a potential ban from the UK market. If this succeeds in the UK, it won’t be long before we see similar moves by other top countries. These apps have already been banned in countries such as China and other Arab-speaking countries.
One thing that is going to be a huge problem is for these companies to accept these attempts by government agencies to regularly take a look at all messages that their users exchange. It is going to be a long push and pull game and whoever wins; it will mean a huge blow for the other party.
Even though this move by the UK government might sound a little mean or rather an overstep, it is also a good thing to base our thoughts or arguments on other forms of communication. In case a government or security agency has a legally signed document that warrants them access to your email or phone calls, it is allowed. While you might be looking at this as a violation of privacy, it is also a good move towards curbing the growing security issues.