Social media and messenger applications these are the two most prominently used platforms amongst the people from this generation. It is vast and helps people to stay connected, apart from that there are a plethora of information available on the social media platform that people can have an insight about. There is a particular which is crucial for every user who tends to use the social media or a messenger app which is privacy.
Whenever a user is signing up on a social networking site or a messenger app, it is a fact that they accept the privacy terms and conditions. In the applications and the websites, it is clearly stated that the personal information which is shared by the user will not be shared with any other platforms and it is completely private and confidential according to their privacy policies.
WhatsApp has been one of the most renowned messenger apps and it has helped millions of people across the world to stay connected. In the recent times, they have been introducing many different kinds of updates. By far the best update which the app has done is the encryption of the messages. This means that there will be no access to the third party or any other network to get an access to the conversations which take place between two individuals.
Unfortunately, an incident which has occurred in London is going to take a big toll on WhatsApp. There was a terror attack in London at Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament by a few terrorists. A minimum of four was dead and around 40 were injured during this attack. The attack actually started around 2:40 PM (London Time) when a speeding car let it loose on the pedestrians and there after everything happened to unleash.
All these incidents just happened within a fraction of seconds a mere time of 82 seconds and it was a dreadful sight to see. After this particular incident, the reaction from around the corners of the world has been of different kinds of levels. They were absolutely clueless on why this incident actually occurred and what made them do it in the first place.
It is said that a 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove off his Hyundai on the people who were walking down the streets. Unfortunately, a part of this particular incident occurred has been blamed upon the officials of the messenger app WhatsApp. A British government minister stated that there is a partial responsibility of the messenger app company, for this attack to take place.
Masood did not stop there, he went towards the parliament and stabbed one of the police officials with knives and killed the policeman. After a while, the armed officer who was in the surrounding aimed at Masood and shot him around 2 to 3 times and he happen to die with the injuries. Fortunately, the armed officer was able to nail the terrorist.
The impact post this incident showed that Masood is a British born citizen with the name Adrian Elms. This is where Whatsapp comes into the picture, it is said that just before he went onto assaulting the people on the streets he had used Whatsapp. The secretary for British Government Amber Rudd made a clear statement that the encryption of the messages which is done in the app to maintain the privacy of the user is completely not acceptable.
It is alleged that Masood had used the app just moments before in rampaged his car onto the people. On the flip side, Amber stated that there should be no particular place where these kinds of people are able to hide. It is clear that the law authorities would like to have an access to the messages which are been sent and received between two individuals.
If we consider that particular fact then it would be against the privacy terms and conditions which they have been following for this long. She as well stated that they should be sure with the fact that these kinds of organizations like Whatsapp and other social media and messenger apps do not provide a place for them to hide and execute their plan successfully.
The oratory on “Anti-Encryption” given by Rudd is in line to the British government to not have any kind of communication service which is not accessible or being tapped by the government officials. It is evident that the criminals and terrorists do find a safe place on the internet and the online for them to plan and execute these cruelties amongst the people and disrupt the harmony and peace which is shared in the world.
When the messages which are exchanged are of encrypted format, it is obvious that there is no way that the third person will be able to gain access to it. It is essential that there is an access made available for the government officials and the law authorities to have an access to the messages which are being exchanged on a platform like WhatsApp.
There is a conspiracy with the fact whether Masood actually used the app to send or receive any kind of instructions prior to the attack. It is yet to be clarified whether Masood actually used the app or not. But it is said that there is an indication where there is a possibility for him to have used the app. The journalists got an access to his phone and figured out that he was indeed active on the app before in went on to attack the people.
Unfortunately, it is said that there is no indication whether he belongs to any group and followed this act under any one’s instruction. Keeping this all in the mind, it is clear that Whatsapp gives an access to the law authorities to check the messages which have been exchanged under his account. It is an undeniable fact that the encryption which is being used is really strong and hard to crack as well.
If the messages were not encrypted in the first place, then there are possibilities that they would have been able to stop this attack from happening at all. This would have led the police department and spy agencies to crack down the information and would have saved those lives. The Prime Minister Theresa May stated that he was not under any kind of inquiry at the time of the attack.
It is the time where Whatsapp needs to modify its privacy terms and conditions. At least it should be providing an access to the law authorities to make sure that everything is safe and secure. The company is aware of the fact that the users might refrain from using the app if they provided an access to the government officials.
WhatsApp has been undergoing a lot of changes, modifications, updates and a new plethora of features being added to it. If there are any possibilities where they will be able to find alternative solutions to these kinds of issues, then they would definitely do so. It is not only that the government would like to have an access, but even the big tech companies and corporate would like to get and access to the messages. Truth be said, “Security is more important than Privacy”.
Author Bio: Anand Rajendran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dectar a well-known Software products development and Mobile App Development Company based in Chennai, India. He has extensive experience in building and leading innovative and collaborative software development teams to deliver major software applications like Scimbo – Whatsapp Clone Script. He loves exploring new things and sharing his knowledge with others.