WhatsApp activates encryption, support for old mobiles to end

Apr 06, 2016 (LBO) – Cross-platform messaging client WhatsApp who turned seven years old this week has enabled end-to-end encryption for users of its latest app.

End-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the intended recipients and from now on the encryption is automatically on by default.

The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to.

End-to-end encryption helps make communication sort of like a face-to-face conversation and no one can see inside that message; not cybercriminals; not hackers; not oppressive regimes or not even WhatsApp.

Encryption is one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about encrypted services and the work of law enforcement.

WhatsApp said in a statement that while WhatsApp recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.

WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton said in a blog post that the desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs they have at WhatsApp.

“I grew up in the USSR during communist rule and the fact that people couldn’t speak freely is one of the reasons my family moved to the United States,” Jan Koum said.

In an expansion drive WhatsApp has decided to end support for devices that lacks capabilities to access new features of apps.

By the end of 2016, they will be ending support for WhatsApp Messenger on BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1, Android 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1.

“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.”