It’s been just revealed that WhatsApp is currently getting ready to enter a clash with the US government over encryption, just after the platform hit more than 2 billion users.
Business Insider reports that during an interview with The Wall Street Journal that’s been published this week, the head of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart said that the messaging application had already hit 2 billion users – it was up from 1.5 billion two years ago.
It’s obviously still behind the core Facebook app which now has about 2.5 billion users.
Cathcart used this interview as a chance to draw a line in the sand over end-to-end encryption – this is the system that allows the app’s users to remain private and inaccessible even by WhatsApp itself.
The online publication mentioned above also said that WhatsApp and Facebook have come under massive pressure from the US government recently to create ways for law enforcement to circumvent encryption.
Facebook is asked to delay plans for encryption
Business Insider also revealed that the Attorney General William Barr asked Facebook last year to delay the plans for encrypting all the messaging platforms, and Facebook rejected this.
“For all of human history, people have been able to communicate privately with each other,” Cathcart told The Journal, adding: “And we don’t think that should go away in modern society.”
The US isn’t the only government that’s been pressuring WhatsApp to break encryption – you may recall that last year more countries – the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all united into the “Five eyes” alliance in pushing for encryption services to build safeguards for law enforcement.
Besides the WhatsApp mobile versions, available on Android and iOS, which is widely used, WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop apps are also popular.
You can also check out a short comparison between the two PC-based versions of WhatsApp.