Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Forget Apple vs the FBI - WhatsApp Changes It All

More than a billion people trade messages, make phone calls, send photos, and swap videos using WhatsApp an online messaging service now owned by tech giant Facebook.
And yesterday, founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum, together with a high-minded coder and cryptographer who goes by the pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, revealed that the company has added end-to-end encryption to every form of communication on its service.

This means that if any group of people uses the latest version of WhatsApp – whether that group spans two people or ten – the service will encrypt all messages, phone calls, photos, and videos moving among them.
And that’s true on any phone that runs the app, from iPhones to Android phones to Windows phones to old school Nokia flip phones. With end-to-end encryption in place, not even WhatsApp’s employees can read the data that’s sent across its network.
In other words, WhatsApp has no way of complying with a court order demanding access to the content of any message, phone call, photo, or video traveling through its service.
Like Apple, WhatsApp is, in practice, stonewalling the federal government, but it’s doing so on a larger front – one that spans roughly a billion devices.
Apple’s battle with the FBI over a federal order to unlock the iPhone of a mass shooter and which started the searing debate over privacy and security – is now reduced to insignificance. Thanks to the three guys from Mountain View, California, USA!
Yesterday, I was at the Allianz Toastmasters meeting in KL Sentral – where I delivered my CC #2 speech titled “Honor Killing” – my CC round #35. I was also Humor Master and Table Topics Evaluator.
It was nice to have Toastmasters from six other clubs: TMI KL, D’Utama, Money Mastery, Berjaya UCH, MIMKL and Liquid Gold Advanced – converging to Floor 10 in Menara Allianz Sentral to add spark and energy to the meeting.

And I have immense respect for Lim Yi Kang who gave us a rousing rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel song The Sound of Silence. As part of his invocation speech.

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