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Published on : Apr 07, 2016

Data encryption has always been an iffy subject in the field of telecommunications. On one hand it provides great protection against hacking attempts, as it is not possible to make sense of the data retrieved without an encryption key. On the other hand, government security agencies cry havoc at the signs of any data encryption that excludes them from retrieving any critical information. The recent debate of Apple Inc. versus the U.S. government is a prime example of what problems a company may face if their encryption standards do not allow governments to peek into your phones. The latest in line to adopt data protection strategies is Facebook, on their messaging portal WhatsApp.

Terrorism and Encryption
The U.S. government has shown concern over Facebook’s attempts at protecting users’ WhatsApp data. They claimed that the company should not be able to provide illegal activities, including trafficking of child pornography and terrorism. As stated by Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary, the electronics industry’s decisions should not impede with the government trying to make sure electronic media are safe from being used by terrorists and other bad actors. He admitted that the role of encryption and data intrusion is a technical and complicated matter. A bit of this has to do with the rate at which technology is evolving, and a bit of it is related to the type of policies that the government adopts. He urged technology companies to try and work with government agencies to bring down harmful usage of telecom and technology.

How Good is the Encryption System
Industry professionals, on the other hand, are remarking at the developments that the new WhatsApp encryption has shown. It is a sign that current encryption strategies are extremely easy to use and are ubiquitous. The process of encryption itself is a highly complicated process and always needs to be upgraded to remain one step ahead of hackers and other intrusive agencies. But the actual use of these systems has been made increasingly user-friendly and foolproof.

While the chatting app is still not completely immune to attacks, the encryption process could provide a valuable barrier for data safety for many users.