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John E Dunn has covered cybersecurity since 2003, long before anyone was worried.
He was co-founding editor of industry title Techworld and security editor at Computerworld UK.
In a blog from this April: “No one can see inside that message. Tech companies, for their part, fear being dragged into that effort in a way that turns them into surveillance proxies.
So why has encryption suddenly become so important to everyone?
Naturally, Whats App and other companies busily integrating end-to-end encryption into their software emphasise privacy. An alternative explanation is that Whats App and other software makers are busily adding strong encryption to protect themselves as much as users.
It’s a theme Whats App CEO and co-founder Jan Koum, a Ukrainian who grew up under Soviet Communism, often returns to. It’s no secret that governments see encryption as a threat to their monitoring of criminal suspects.
As Facebook points out, Google Play requires users to accept all permissions the app might need before downloading – even if some of those features are never accessed by the user.
In its help article about the Android permissions, Facebook also says the way permissions are described is controlled by Google, even though they don’t “necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them”: By contrast, Apple takes a much more granular approach to permissions for i OS apps.There’s good reason to be skeptical of Facebook when it comes to privacy, but the Facebook Messenger app isn’t the privacy nightmare that some people think it is.