Multiple major technology companies including Facebook, Google, and Snapchat are actively working on increasing encryption of user data, the Guardian reports. The news will be sure to infuriate law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, which are currently in a very public battle with Apple over the role of encryption in its products.
Sources have told the Guardian that over the next several weeks Facebook-owned WhatsApp will be expanding its existing encryption that is already available for text messages to its secure voice calling features, so every call a person makes with WhatsApp is encrypted. WhatsApp also plans to add encryption to group messages as well, sources tell the Guardian. The company will reportedly make a public announcement about the enhanced encryption in the coming weeks. Sources say Facebook is also considering strengthening the security of its own branded messaging services as well.
The Guardian notes that privacy is something that is close to WhatsApp founder Jan Koum’s heart, as he grew up in Soviet-era Ukraine. When Tim Cook published his open letter about his opposition to the FBI’s demand, Koum was one of the first tech leaders to publicly support him, writing that “Our freedom and our liberty are at stake” on his public Facebook page.;