Gov accuses Whatsapp of creating security 'black hole'

Gov ramps up pressure on app to hand over encrypted messages - report

The government has reportedly accused WhatsApp of creating a "black hole" in security intelligence by refusing to give it access to people's encrypted messages.

This is according to Sky News, which quoted an anonymous security source, who claimed that terrorists are "frequent users" of encrypted apps because they know no one can read their messages.

"It is crucially important that we can access their communications - and when we can't, it can provide a black hole for investigators," the source added.

Other platforms such as iMessage and Telegram also protect messages using encryption and do not allow the government access to the information.

WhatsApp does, however, allow authorities to see other information such as an account name, when the account was created, the last know IP address used to access the service and the email address associated with each account.

However, WhatsApp made it clear it wants to protect its users, and this means messages must stay encrypted and hidden from authorities, just as they should remain protected from potential criminals.

"Naturally, people have asked what end-to-end encryption means for the work of law enforcement," the company explains on a statement on its website. "WhatsApp appreciates the work that law enforcement agencies do to keep people safe around the world.

"We carefully review, validate, and respond to law enforcement requests based on applicable law and policy, and we prioritise responses to emergency requests."

The news comes after Theresa May stressed the importance for technology companies to do more to help the government identify security threats following the Parsons Green tube station bomb attack last week.

Featured Resources

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

Synology DVA3221 review: Much more than a NAS
network attached storage (NAS)

Synology DVA3221 review: Much more than a NAS

22 Jul 2021
WhatsApp launches multi-device beta with support for end to end encryption
communications

WhatsApp launches multi-device beta with support for end to end encryption

15 Jul 2021
IT Pro News in Review: VMware vulnerabilities, WhatsApp sues Indian government & UK PNC under fire
cyber security

IT Pro News in Review: VMware vulnerabilities, WhatsApp sues Indian government & UK PNC under fire

28 May 2021
Qnap QGD-3014-16PT review: A clever combo
network attached storage (NAS)

Qnap QGD-3014-16PT review: A clever combo

25 May 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021