Tuesday April 7, 2020
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WhatsApp End-to-end Encryption May Weaken on Integration with Facebook

The New York Times reported on Friday that Facebook has planned to integrate chats within WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram

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"WhatsApp Business" was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US. Pixabay

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption — the hallmark of users’ security — may go for a toss if Facebook integrates the popular mobile messaging platform with not-that-secure Instagram and Messenger.

According to a report in The Wired on Saturday, to universally preserve end-to-end encryption poses a whole additional set of critical challenges for Facebook.

WhatsApp chats are currently end-to-end encrypted by default. Facebook Messenger offers the feature if you turn on “Secret Conversations.”

“Instagram does not currently offer any form of end-to-end encryption for its chats,” the report said.

“The big problem I see is that only WhatsApp has default end-to-end encryption. So if the goal is to allow cross-app traffic, and it’s not required to be encrypted, then what happens? There are a whole range of outcomes here,” Matthew Green, a cryptographer at the Johns Hopkins University, was quoted as saying.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum quit Facebook over difference of opinion with CEO Mark Zuckerberg when it comes to data privacy and encryption.

Koum announced his exit “after clashing with its parent, Facebook, over the popular messaging service’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption”.

Brian Acton started WhatsApp with Koum. Facebook acquired the messaging service ago for $19 billion in 2014. Acton quit Facebook in 2017 and Koum left the company last April.

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The New York Times reported on Friday that Facebook has planned to integrate chats within WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.

“Facebook is still in the early planning stages of homogenizing its messaging platforms, a move that could increase the ease and number of secured chats online by a staggering order of magnitude,” said The Wired report. (IANS)

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Facebook, Instagram Goes Down For PC and Desktop Users in UK

On WhatsApp, the users reported problems were with sending or receiving messages, followed by connection issues

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"Desktop browser Facebook been slow for a few days & now won't load pages or login ... mobile version works fine!" says one user. Pixabay

Facebook and Instagram went down for the PC and desktop users in the UK on Sunday evening although mobile access was in perfect shape.

Several users took to Twitter, saying they could not access the social networking platform as well as its photo-sharing app on desktops. Both the platforms were up after couple of hours of downtime, reports outage tracking website Downdetector.

Several people replied to DownDetector UK’s official account to report which areas Facebook was down in. “Facebook is having issues since 5:24 PM BST. RT if it’s down for you as well #Facebookdown,” posted DownDetector.

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“Desktop browser Facebook been slow for a few days & now won’t load pages or login … mobile version works fine!” replied one user. The social media giant was yet to update its users why this happened.

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Facebook and Instagram went down for the PC and desktop users in the UK on Sunday evening although mobile access was in perfect shape. Pixabay

“I can still access it on my mobile but not on my PC, even though both going through the same router,” tweeted one user. On April 2, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down for millions of users in North and South America and Europe.

The frequently reported problems on Facebook were with images, according to Downdetector. Some people also had issues with News Feed and logging in. On Instagram, the majority of issues were with News Feed.

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On WhatsApp, the users reported problems were with sending or receiving messages, followed by connection issues. (IANS)