The British Army has reportedly banned WhatsApp over fears that Russia is hacking the messaging platform to acquire operationally sensitive information. International news portal Dailymail has claimed that the Ministry of Defence (Britain) has confirmed the ban on WhatsApp due to ‘significant security concens’. Besides, the news portal also stated that the UK government will also cease the use of WhatsApp for senior government ministers.
However, WhatsApp Head, Will Cathcart has discarded all the claims made by Dailymail. On Twitter, Cathcart wrote, “The British military went on the record contradicting this story. They aren’t asking personnel to delete WhatsApp and their internal communication guidance is not linked to the invasion of Ukraine”.
Defending the security system of WhatsApp, Cathcart added, “WhatsApp is secure and protects your messages and calls with end-to-end encryption – we cannot see them and they cannot be intercepted by any third party”.
He further said some actors are trying to cause people to the security provided by end-to-end encryption amid the ‘information war’. WhatsApp’s boss urge caution in sharing rumors during a conflict. “Our team is available to engage on the facts and we’ll continue to work with others that have a common interest in protecting people’s privacy and security,” Cathcart concluded his tweet.
WhatsApp has often been embroiled in controversies regarding security reasons. However, the instant messaging app has defended its end-to-end encryption feature. The American freeware has stated that “End-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because, with end-to-end encryption, your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages”.
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