An anonymous reader writes: Tech giants including Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and Snapchat are looking to increase the privacy of user data by expanding their encryption features. The recent reports mark growing industry support for Apple in its fight to not allow authorities backdoor access into users' devices. Facebook has suggested that it is increasing privacy of its Messenger service, while its instant messaging app Whatsapp also confirmed that it would be extending its encryption offering to secure voice calls. Others reportedly joining the industry shift include Snapchat, which is working on securing its messaging service, and search heavyweight Google, which is currently developing an encrypted email project. From The Guardian's substantially similar story from which the above-linked article draws: WhatsApp has been rolling out strong encryption to portions of its users since 2014, making it increasingly difficult for authorities to tap the service's messages. The issue is personal for founder Jan Koum, who was born in Soviet-era Ukraine. When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in February that his company would fight the government in court, Koum posted on his Facebook account: "Our freedom and our liberty are at stake." His efforts to go further still are striking as the app is in open confrontation with governments. Brazil authorities arrested a Facebook executive on 1 March after WhatsApp told investigators it lacked the technical ability to provide the messages of drug traffickers. Facebook called the arrest "extreme and disproportionate." The sooner, the better on this front: as TechDirt points out, WhatsApp may be next on the list of communication tools to which the U.S. government would like to give the Apple Treatment.
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