Written by: TechAnon
More and more Anonymous will soon be given a slightly bigger piece of security for their instant messaging in the near future. As of late November 2014 WhatsApp has partnered with Open Whisper systems to become the largest instant messaging utility in the world (at over 600 million users) to not only offer end to end encryption but make it a default part of their system.
Given the simple fact that much of the world’s population only understands the concept of the tasks that can be done with a mobile device and nothing else, let’s take a few minutes to understand what’s been involved over time.
The whole concept of SMS (Short Message Service) or texting as most know it actually came about in the early 1980’s. A European company called GSM (Groupe Spécial Mobile) made requests to make the switched public telephone networks available to the now expanding mobile system…and point to point messaging was born. Jump into your Tardis to hop forward in time and make a pit stop in 2010 where there are now 3.5 BILLION Anons, approximately 80% of all cellular phones using text messaging. Jump to 2014 and Silicon India predicts that by the end of this year there will be 7.3 BILLION active cell phones… more phones than the actual population of the world. Who’s going 2 fisted? Thank you GSM for allowing us to send and receive immediate messages instead of waiting 2 weeks for a handwritten letter from our friends and relatives.
Of course, the original format of text messaging also takes dedicated and sometimes monopolized telephone processing equipment and resources. Who remembers the teenagers in the national news that racked up $20,000 texting bills? Yeah, whom do you scream at… your teen or the phone company? Enter wireless devices like IPhone, IPad and other internet capable gadgets and we now have a new platform for messaging. Applications such as WhatsApp (along with other systems) allow communication and texting through the internet as opposed to the phone company.
Stupendous! Right? Until recent years and the even more widespread use of wireless devices, no one ever seemed to be concerned about security though. All of a sudden mass media reports the NSA is watching, homeland security is watching, pictures of actors and other performers are getting stolen etc… Security now comes to the forefront of everyone’s mind as you realize you’re naked in public per se. Sure there are ways to combat this, always are. You can obviously pay more to whichever company you use for stronger security and encryption. You can use one of the “smaller” message apps out there that have these things in place as an option. No one is going to offer you added safety without asking for it. Rolling into November 2014, that all changes. Welcome to the partnership between WhatsApp and Whispersystems.org , who have advertised that they will be giving end to end encryption as a default service with their App. Who are they? What does it do? How do I get it?
Whisper systems mission is a simple one:
“Our mission is to make private communication simple.
Open Whisper Systems is both a large community of Open Source contributors, as well as a small team of dedicated developers. Together, we’re working to advance the state of the art for secure communication, while simultaneously making it easy for everyone to use.”
Are you owned by Twitter? No.
Are you a commercial project? Nope.
Can you read my messages? No way.
Can I help? Yes!
Is there support? Yes!”***
What does it actually mean? It’s boasted that even wizard Zuckerberg will not be able to sneak in and pry open your conversations. Unfortunately, it’s not available for every device and platform as of yet. It IS active on many android systems and the company states :
“full deployment will be an incremental process as we add TextSecure protocol support into each WhatsApp client platform”
Stay tuned in to keep up with the advancements! We’re sure they’ll be plentiful.
One of the downsides to such an awesome security system is that now the folks that have turned to the dark side just may have an easier time moving about. Where do you draw a line though? A terrorist is still only a citizen until they commit an act of terror (or get caught in the planning) right? That end of things just got harder to find. Approaching from yet a different angle… it’s been predicted that by the year 2020 there may not be any need for users to even have a wireless contract with any single phone company due to the ever widening blanket of free Wifi and the expansion of the world as we know it. Lastly…how will Big Brother act?