IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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

Big data for finance

How to leverage big data analytics and AI in the finance sector

Free Download

Ten critical factors for cloud analytics success

Cloud-native, intelligent, and automated data management strategies to accelerate time to value and ROI

Free Download

Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers

The $260 billion dollar friction problem businesses don't know they have

Free Download

The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.

Robust security to protect and enable your business

Free Download

Recommended

Move to business messaging and let richer connections begin
Whitepaper

Move to business messaging and let richer connections begin

12 Sep 2022
Talking to a business should feel like messaging a friend
Whitepaper

Talking to a business should feel like messaging a friend

12 Sep 2022
Goodbye broadcasts, hello conversations
Whitepaper

Goodbye broadcasts, hello conversations

12 Sep 2022
Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers
Whitepaper

Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers

12 Sep 2022

Most Popular

How to secure your hybrid workforce
Advertisement Feature

How to secure your hybrid workforce

23 Sep 2022
The human brain is far more complex than AI researchers imagine
artificial intelligence (AI)

The human brain is far more complex than AI researchers imagine

17 Sep 2022
The cryptocurrency implosion shows we’re heading for the end
cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency implosion shows we’re heading for the end

29 Sep 2022