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FBI Document Shows How Popular Secure Messaging Apps Stack Up


The FBI logo.

WhatsApp tells Rolling Stone that "We carefully review, validate, and respond to law-enforcement requests based on applicable law, and are clear about this on our Website and in regular transparency reports."

Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A document from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Science and Technology Branch and Operational Technology Division details the agency's ability to legally access content from secure messaging applications.

Some details are already known, such as the fact that Apple could provide law enforcement full texts sent via iMessage if those messages are backed up to iCloud; moreover, many services can collect metadata even if they can cannot share a message's content.

The document provides specific examples, and discloses that WhatsApp is the only popular app that supplies near-real-time data in response to law enforcement requests.

WhatsApp told Rolling Stone they rigorously vet such requests "based on applicable law," adding that the document shows "that law enforcement doesn't need to break end-to-end encryption to successfully investigate crimes."

From PC Magazine
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