The Snowden Effect – Encryption Goes Mainstream

Rob here with Patriot Privacy and the Self-Reliance Institute.

This just happened this morning. Therefore, because I know how much you value privacy, I wanted to bring it to your attention as quickly as possible.

In what is being described as “the largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever,” the highly popular WhatsApp mobile messaging system announced today that it has implemented end-to-end encryption that works automatically when the application is used.

Here’s how Wired puts it in, “WhatsApp Just Switched On End-To-End Encryption For Hundreds of Millions of Users”:

Growing up in Soviet Ukraine in the 1980s, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum learned to distrust the government and detest its surveillance. After he emigrated to the U.S. and created his ultra-popular messaging system decades later, he vowed that WhatsApp would never make eavesdropping easy for anyone. Now, WhatsApp is following through on that anti-snooping promise at an unprecedented scale.

On Tuesday, WhatsApp announced that it’s implementing end-to-end encryption, an upgrade to its privacy protections that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to read users’ messages—even the company itself. WhatsApp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable encryption for hundreds of millions of phones and tablets that have WhatsApp installed—by some measures the world’s largest-ever implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service.

’WhatsApp is integrating Textsecure into the most popular messaging app in the world, where people exchange billions of messages a day,’ says Moxie Marlinspike, Open Whisper System’s creator and a well-known software developer in the cryptography community. ‘I do think this is the largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever.’” [Emphasis in original]

Friends, I think this is an excellent development and part of what I call the “Snowden Effect.” Because of the Snowden revelations concerning NSA surveillance, the private sector is responding by developing encrypted forms of communication that are user-friendly.

Let’s be honest. Usually, most consumer-available applications and programs for encrypted communication (email, text messages, etc.) are relatively complicated and require that all parties go through a cumbersome installation process.

Now, there are more and more private application developers working on encryption that is built into the application and therefore automatic.

Frankly, I think this is a movement we should support if we value privacy and security in our everyday lives. The more we demonstrate that we want – indeed demand – security as part of our communications, the more developers will endeavor to provide that security.

And I guarantee that other communication applications and programs will follow WhatsApp’s lead. So if you don’t currently use WhatsApp, don’t worry. Soon, the applications and programs you do use will add user-friendly encryption.

If you’d like to learn more about today’s development, in addition to the Wired article I linked above, check out “WhatsApp Rolls Out End-To-End Encryption Using TextSecure Code” and/or “Open Whisper Systems Partners With WhatsApp to Provide End-To-End Encryption.”

Also, I want to encourage you to join me as a member of the Self-Reliance Institute.

At the Self-Reliance Institute, Chris Peterson and I are constantly on the prowl for resources to enhance your personal and financial privacy. So, please check out the Self-Reliance Institute where we share exclusive insider information and resources with members of the Institute.

And, most important from a value perspective, all of the accumulated eBooks, Advisories, Newsletters and other resources that Chris and I have produced and acquired since the inception of the Institute are immediately yours if you become a member. It’s a huge collection of exclusive material and it grows every week.

Plus, if you join now, you get a free Special Forces Survival Knife and a free month of membership in the Self-Reliance Institute.

OK, that’s it for today. As always, you can email me directly at [email protected]

Be safe, secure and free!

Rob Douglas – Former Washington DC Private Detective

Freedom Writers Publishing
1815 Central Park Dr. #358
Steamboat Springs, CO  80487

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