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Advocate I

Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

Today's Forbes headline: The Encryption Debate Is Over - Dead At The Hands Of Facebook

 

In Facebook's vision of the future WhatsApp should include embedded "content moderation and blacklist filtering algorithms". These algorithms will be continually updated from a central cloud service, but will run locally on the user's device, scanning each cleartext message before it is sent and each encrypted message after it is decrypted.

 

Still trust Facebook? Did you ever?

6 Replies
Newcomer III

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

This article furthers a conversation that is larger than Facebook, or WhatsApp, or encryption.  The conversation that needs to be had is around privacy and ethics.

 

With cell phones, Alexa, Facebook, CCTV cameras, red-light cameras, building surveillance, Google Apps, etc, is there any expectation of privacy? Many or most of us choose (knowingly or otherwise) to forfeit our own privacy for convenience. Want to more secure messaging app? How do you move all of your friends and family over to something else? You don't. It is the standard, as poor as that is. Choose to not have Google track your every move? You can't, unless you don't have a phone that doesn't have a single app made by Google on it. 

 

The 4th Amendment of the US Constitution affords us the RIGHT to privacy, but apparently at the cost of being a luddite. So here's the question: is it ETHICAL for a company, or any branch of the government to knowingly breach the 4th amendment by "asking" you to use a service, tool, location, etc? Are you able to live reasonably in our modern world without giving that up? 

 

I have a cell phone that I must carry for work. Is my job forcing me to forfeit my own right to privacy? 

 

Facebook, WhatsApp, and everyone else who is participating, in my opinion, are just vultures of the existing architecture of our modern world that put us in this position to begin with. 

 

Just food for thought, and a welcome debate. 

Community Champion

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

> AppDefects (Contributor III) posted a new topic in Tech Talk on 08-02-2019 08:59

 

>   In Facebook's vision of the future WhatsApp should include embedded
> "content moderation and blacklist filtering algorithms".

 

OK, Whatsapp is out of the running for "how the exec talks to each other" ...

 

>   Still trust Facebook? Did you ever?

 

This is a trick question, right?


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Community Champion

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

OK, so maybe Forbes headlines are not the best place to get tech news.

 

Some more analysis of the story ...


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Community Champion

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

What is it within the human psyche, that causes them to be attracted to WhatsApp in the first place?   The convenience of breaking corporate rules or bending them - I know some corporate organisations who have adopted it and embraced it.   Try removing it from the employees who enjoy it so much?

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Community Champion

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

Yes, your analysis link went on to a security roadmap suggested by Bruce Schneier :  https://onezero.medium.com/a-new-privacy-constitution-for-facebook-a7106998f904

 

Whether Facebook actually heeds this is totally another matter altogether.

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Community Champion

Re: Facebook Backdoors WhatsApp

 


@Caute_cautim wrote:

What is it within the human psyche, that causes them to be attracted to WhatsApp in the first place?   The convenience of breaking corporate rules or bending them - I know some corporate organisations who have adopted it and embraced it.   Try removing it from the employees who enjoy it so much?

Just the individual mindset, compelled by trends, not to concerned about privacy, and / or oblivious to risks. At my organization, we have blocked WhatsApp using the firewall's application security feature, but users always find ways to get around this, such as by installing VPN software on their phones.

 

But the IT Department itself employs it for members to communicate with one-another without having to make calls.

 

(Interestingly, WhatsApp calling is blocked by ISPs in the country, but VPN software lets users get around that)

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz