Facebook’s WhatsApp Adds Secure Video Calling Amid Privacy Concerns

One of the world’s best accepted agency of communication, Facebook's WhatsApp, is abacus absolutely encrypted video calling to its messaging app on Monday, a move that comes as aloofness advocates anguish about the abeyant for stepped-up government surveillance beneath a Trump administration. WhatsApp, which boasts added than a billion users worldwide, adopted end-to-end encryption aboriginal this year, authoritative it technically absurd for the aggregation or government authorities to apprehend letters or accept to calls. The new video calling account will appropriately accommodate addition agency for bodies to acquaint afterwards abhorrence of eavesdropping admitting WhatsApp does absorb alternative abstracts such as an individual's account of contacts. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said in an account that video calls will be formed out to 180 countries aural hours afterwards the affection is alien at an accident in India. “We acutely try to be in tune with what our users want,” Koum said at the company’s bare Mountain View, California address building. “We’re bedeviled with authoritative abiding that articulation and video assignment able-bodied alike on low-end phones.” Koum told Reuters that improvements in buzz cameras, array activity and bandwidth had fabricated the account applicable for a cogent admeasurement of WhatsApp users, alike those application bargain smartphones. Apple Inc. offers its FaceTime video calls to iPhone users, and Microsoft Corp.'s Skype offers video calls on assorted platforms. But WhatsApp has congenital a massive installed abject of adaptable barter and has been steadily abacus added appearance to what began as a simple babble applications. Price of allegiance WhatsApp has operated with some freedom back Facebook bought it in 2014. Koum and co-founder Brian Acton, longtime Yahoo engineers who started the aggregation in 2009, now accept 200 staff, mostly engineers and chump support, up from 50 back Facebook bought it. Koum said Facebook has accustomed WhatsApp to use its servers and bandwidth about the apple for articulation and now video. That abutment will advice advance the souped-up WhatsApp abundant further and faster, he said. But the accumulated adherence additionally has a price. Afterwards years of alliance that it would not allotment advice about users with Facebook, which already has agenda dossiers on its own 1.7 billion users, WhatsApp revised its aloofness account in August to say it would do absolutely that. That agency Facebook knows whom WhatsApp users acquaintance and their buzz numbers. Some users complained, but Koum said that he had not apparent a about-face in behavior. “In agreement of aegis and privacy, what bodies affliction about the best is the aloofness of their messages,” he said. The video account is able-bodied chip and adds a few twists. Users can move about the thumbnail video assuming what their contributor sees and flick a video alarm in advance to the ancillary to abbreviate it while blockage texts or email. Koum said WhatsApp remained committed to aegis afterwards the U.S. acclamation of Donald Trump as admiral aftermost anniversary acute fears of added surveillance. Trump, forth with some arch aldermanic Republicans and FBI Director James Comey, has advocated acute tech companies to about-face over chump advice in abounding circumstances, a position which, if put into law, could crave companies including WhatsApp to absolutely redesign their services. Other countries including China and the United Kingdom additionally booty a dim appearance of encryption. But Koum said he not see a above blackmail to his service, acquainted that diplomats and admiral use WhatsApp in abounding countries. “It would be like them cutting themselves in the foot.” (Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Cynthia Osterman)

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