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Report: Tech Companies To Increase Emphasis On Encryption

March 14, 2016 - Written By John Anon

The debate surrounding encryption is one which is very much ongoing. While Apple continues its battle in the courts, the general public seems to be at odds as to where the line between privacy and security should be drawn. That said, in spite of this being such a divisive issue, it does seem that a number of the main tech companies are largely on the same page and in agreement that encryption should not be inhibited in any meaningful way. Those tech companies have already voiced their agreement in the courts with Apple by filing joint briefs which legally recognizes their collective support. However, it is now being reported that in the near future, some of those tech companies plan to voice further support behind the scenes and by upping their own levels of encryption.

In terms of specifics, the details on what these tech companies are planning to do is a little limited, however the report from The Guardian does make it clear that services from the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Google will see greater levels of encryption being adopted. We have already seen WhatsApp introduce greater end to end encryption as an update quite recently, although the report seems to work off the notion this will further be refined going forward, with greater levels of encryption being introduced for both voice calls and group messages. With (according to sources) a formal announcement expected “In the coming weeks.” In terms of Google, the report details that many of those behind the scenes are starting to look again at an encrypted email project which had been dubbed “End-to-End’. A project, which after being worked on over the last couple of years, seemed to be firmly on the back burner. However, it is now being said that the intensity of End-to-End could suddenly be picked up again. While Snapchat and Facebook are both said to be working on increasing the encryption abilities of their respective messenger services, details on these two specifically were more limited than the others, according to the report.

It seems these might not be the extent to the companies who are now thought to be looking again at how they can improve their encryption stance as Twitter, among others, were also mentioned too. While this does collectively seem like a move which will be welcomed by privacy advocates, it does seem that it is not all for the greater good. Instead, the report highlights that many companies are now starting to see a greater selling value in even stronger encryption due to the high-profile nature of the Apple case. As a result, employing even more stringent levels of encryption is quickly being seen as a good marketing opportunity by tech companies and especially in regards to the business sector.