Reporters are devastated by the revelation that WhatsApp can give law enforcement access to private messages. The guide does not detail the full range of law enforcement snooping powers. Nor does it cover how the FBI accesses a physical device. While end-to-end encryption can protect user information, the FBI can still access the device itself. It is unclear how long this data is kept on a device. And it is unclear what is being collected by the FBI.
Acton, Koum and Marlinspike believe the FBI uses
WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media apps, but is the FBI using it to on its users ? The answer isn’t obvious, but Acton, Koum and Marlinspike think so, free trial spy apps and are pushing for the company to crack down on the agency. But it’s possible, they say. What if they had the power to do so?
WhatsApp provides metadata to the FBI
It isn’t uncommon for law enforcement to contact WhatsApp to request information about a user’s communications. However, it is important to note that law enforcement officials can only use these records when a valid subpoena is issued in connection with an official criminal investigation. While users may not consider end-to-end encryption a big deal, whistleblowers and reporters may find this to be a problem. Thankfully, there are ways to get access to your WhatsApp messages without breaking encryption.
Telegram is a safer app for the FBI
Many people wonder if Telegram is safer for the FBI. They’re not sure, but the app is not like Whatsapp, which has an extremely high security risk level. Despite its reputation for being safe for communicating, Telegram is not immune to eavesdropping. Even if it does, the app’s encryption is weak and makes it difficult to track illegal activity. This makes Telegram an appealing target for hackers and other criminals.
Signal is a safer app for the FBI
Signal has made its way to the top of the secure messaging space after stealing users from
WhatsApp and attracting millions of users seeking privacy. As the leader of the market, the FBI will need to use forensic tools to access Signal messages. A recent case in New York revealed that the FBI had accessed text messages sent using Signal using both software and hardware vulnerabilities. The news of the FBI access to Signal’s encrypted messages has raised questions about its safety for the public.
Facebook Messenger is not a safe app for the FBI
Privacy advocates say the government should release documents on its efforts to wiretap Messenger calls. They are particularly worried about how these documents will affect privacyminded apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger. A US federal judge has already refused to unseal documents detailing the Department of Justice’s attempt to wiretap Messenger calls. If Facebook continues to refuse to cooperate, it could be found in contempt of court. In the meantime, the government needs to give its citizens a chance to review and appeal court rulings before it can make further decisions.