U.S. May Outlaw Messaging Encryption Used By WhatsApp, iMessage And Others

End-to-end encrypted messaging is a serious subject for regulation enforcement—because the world shifts from straightforward to crack (for governments) mobile SMS messaging to numerous flavors of IP messaging, equivalent to WhatsApp, iMessage, Signal and Wickr, governments are exploring their choices.

The problem is that such companies are supplied by know-how corporations, principally based mostly within the U.S., making them to a big extent out of attain from lawmakers elsewhere. The messaging companies run “over the top,” which means they don’t seem to be tied on to the supplier of the community or the cellphone.

All of which implies that the powerbroker right here, as in most issues tech, is the U.S. authorities. Which is why when Politico reported that “senior Trump administration officers met on Wednesday [June 26] to debate whether or not to hunt laws prohibiting tech corporations from utilizing types of encryption that regulation enforcement can’t break,” it was of actual significance, “a provocative step that will reopen a long-running feud between federal authorities and Silicon Valley.”

“Technology is moving fast, and privacy needs to move with it,” Joel Wallenstrom—the CEO of uber-secure messaging platform Wickr—advised me. “These are all utterly legit, comprehensible even predictable considerations coming from regulation enforcement and elsewhere.”

Politico cited a number of unnamed sources in reporting that “the encryption challenge, which the government calls ‘going dark,’ was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies.” The dialogue centered on the lockdown of messaging apps, billed as “a privacy and security feature,” which “frustrates authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography.”

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