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WhatsApp

"German police will be able to hack WhatsApp, other..."

51

Overlooked

by 21 Jurors

WhatsApp Messenger is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones with Internet access. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, video, and audio media messages. The client software is available for Google , BlackBerry OS, Apple iOS,Android selected Nokia Series 40, Symbian, selected Nokia Asha platform and Microsoft Windows Phone. WhatsApp Inc. was founded in 2009 by American Brian Acton and Ukrainian Jan Koum (also the CEO), both former employees of Yahoo!, and is based in Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California.

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German police will be able to use surveillance software by the end of the year that can hack into people’s smartphones and read encrypted messages in such services as WhatsApp, says a report that cites a leaked document.

A new version of the German police’s Remote Communication Interception Software (RCIS), which is used for surveillance over electronic devices, will be ready by the end of the year, a German independent media outlet, the Netzpolitik, reports, citing a leaked Interior Ministry internal progress report it obtained.

Unlike the previous version of the program, which was limited to surveillance only over desktop computers, the new software will be able to hack into smartphones and tablets with Android, iOS and Blackberry operating systems.

It can also circumvent the encryption systems built into various anonymous messaging services such as WhatsApp or Telegram by hacking directly into the devices themselves and obtaining the messages directly from the “source” – the users’ screens.

In June, the German Bundestag adopted a law that allowed the police to hack into messengers such as WhatsApp using “state trojans” to intercept user communications before they are encrypted on their devices as well as to gain full access to their chat messages, video recordings or other private data.

The law also gave police power to hack into the devices of all people suspected of any criminal activity – not just those who are suspected of terrorism.

However, the leak showed that the new version of the surveillance software that allowed hacking into smartphones and spying on anonymous messengers has been in development by the German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) since at least the beginning of 2016 – almost a year and a half before the security service was legally allowed to develop such software.

The document obtained by Netzpolitik also revealed that the BKA purchased commercially developed surveillance software, the FinSpy, as early as in 2012. It was originally regarded as a potential substitution for state-developed software that could be used during a “transition period” between the BKA receiving allowance to hack into people’s devices and developing its own surveillance program.
Later, the BKA decided to keep it as a backup in case of its own software being compromised.

However, it has not yet used the software, despite paying some €150,000 for it over five years, as it is able to go well beyond the restrictions set in the law, the document says.

FinSpy, developed by Gamma International in Munich, is able to record all calls and messages on a mobile device as well as remotely turn on its microphone and camera and locate and track the device in real time.

FinSpy’s manufacturer has already altered the software three times to make it compatible with German law, Netzpolitik reports.

The latest developments have provoked criticism from activists and politicians, who believe that massive state surveillance will eventually compromise people’s security instead of protecting them against any threats.

"To sell state hacking as just another surveillance measure like any other is, in the face of the newly published papers, a brazen distortion of the truth," the Chaos Computer Club spokesman, Falk Garbsch, told Netzpolitik. "An arsenal of Trojans is being built as if it were already normal for the state to hack the digital brains of its citizens."

Frank Herrmann, a member of Germany's Pirate Party, warned that hacking directly into mobile devices could lead to more serious consequences than monitoring phone calls. “People don't realize that this malware endangers the security of the whole device," he told Deutsche Welle, adding that “the technological intervention is much more severe than just listening in on a phone call."

In the meantime, Erin Omanovic, an activist of the UK-based NGO Privacy International, told Deutsche Welle that similar measures aimed at giving security services the right to hack into people’s electronic devices are being taken not only in Germany but also in many other countries.

"We're seeing efforts to legislate for hacking powers in the UK, in Austria, in Italy, and Germany," he said.

"Some of these capabilities have already been practiced across Europe," Omanovic said. "The UK, for example, has been engaged in hacking, but just hasn't legalized it. There's a complete lack of safeguards and oversight over the use of this type of technology."

"And there have been some examples of misuse by governments around the world. For example, there's evidence that FinSpy was used to target human rights activists and lawyers in Bahrain,” the activist added.

2 days ago
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WhatsApp for Android users can now finally enjoy video calls. The latest WhatsApp beta app brings the feature and is currently available to users who are part of the company's official Android beta testing program. The functionality appears to be working across several beta versions, from v2.16.316 onwards.

The new video calling feature can be accessed via the calls tab. For making a video call, users will have to tap on the dialler icon present alongside the search icon. On pressing the dialler icon, users will get an option to either make a WhatsApp voice call or video call. It's worth noting that feature will work only when the caller and the recipient are part of the Android beta testing program. In case, the recipient is still using an old version of the app (or is not part of the beta testing program) will get a prompt saying "Couldn't place call" followed by text, "Couldn't place call. Recipient [name of contact being called] needs to update WhatsApp to receive video calls."

on October 25, 2016
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WhatsApp will be worth it in terms of market control If there's one thing Facebook has it's market control. Google tried to enter the social networkign game and the result has been, at best, rocky. If you need to network with someone you likely reach to Facebook first and Google...maybe? WhatsApp represented a player in that space that took attention away from Facebook and accordingly reduced Facebook's ability to monetize its product. By acquiring WhatsApp Facebook can reduce the amount of noise in that market sphere and keep the attention where they want it - on themselves.

on October 13, 2016
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WhatsApp’s hugely controversial data-sharing deal with Facebook is now officially banned in Germany.

The two companies announced last month that WhatsApp would start handing over data about its users to Facebook. Facebook would then use that data to help its ads, generating more information about the people using it.

That agreement caused huge outrage, with many people arguing that such an arrangement shouldn’t be allowed. What’s more, it caused embarrassment for WhatsApp, which has in the past committed to keeping data private and not using its platform for ads.

Those criticisms have now been echoed by the Hamburg data protection commissioner, which has issued an administrative order that officially bans Facebook from sharing information with WhatsApp across Germany.

The order “prohibits Facebook with immediate effect to collect and store data of German WhatsApp users”, according to a statement from the watchdog. “Facebook is also ordered to delete all data that has already been forwarded by WhatsApp,” it said.

The order had been taken out because the data-sharing deal was never done with the agreement of users of the two companies, the watchdog said.

Data can only be shared if both companies establish a legal basis to do so, it wrote. But Facebook doesn’t have any approval from WhatsApp users and the legal basis for the data sharing doesn’t exist.

The European Court of Justice recently suggested that international companies must comply with national data protection laws if they process data in those countries. Facebook markets its German-speaking business through a subsidiary in Hamburg, meaning that the city’s data protection watchdog can hand down orders to Facebook – though it remains to be seen whether it will actually comply with it.

“This administrative order protects the data of about 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany,” said Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, in a statement. “It has to be their decision, whether they want to connect their account with Facebook. Therefore, Facebook has to ask for their permission in advance. This has not happened.”

Mr Caspar pointed out that many users might not even have given their permission to either Facebook or WhatsApp.

“In addition, there are many millions of people whose contact details were uploaded to WhatsApp from the user’s address books, although they might not even have a connection to Facebook or WhatsApp,” he said. “According to Facebook, this gigantic amount of data has not yet been collected.

“Facebook’s answer, that this has merely not been done for the time being, is cause for concern that the gravity of the data protection breach will have much a more severe impact.”

on September 28, 2016
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On 25 August WhatsApp announced that it was changing its terms and conditions and its privacy policy. In a blog post which is a masterpiece of lawyerly euphemism, it tells us that it is going to “share” with Facebook its users’ phone numbers and details of the last time they signed on to WhatsApp. Every user is asked to click “Agree” to this proposition – although, of course, they can always reverse this agreement if they can find the relevant section of their settings.

Needless to say, this radical change has nothing to do with the needs of WhatsApp’s corporate owners. Perish the thought: it’s to improve things for you, the user. It’s all about using “your WhatsApp account information to improve your Facebook ads and products experience”. And, just to make sure you understand the magnitude of the decision you are about to make, “If you tap ‘Don’t Share’, you won’t be able change this in the future”.

Seasoned observers of the computer industry will recognise this for what it is: just another illustration of the power of the default setting. In marketing-speak, it’s how to “Nudge Your Customers Toward Better Choices” – an implementation of the philosophy set out by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler in their book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.

So if you’re a WhatsApp user, don’t fall for this particular wheeze: go to “Settings”, select “Account”, “Share my account info” and tap on “Don’t Share”. And do it now, because time’s running out.

on September 19, 2016

Ng Man "Dont share" does not means anything... i think

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Can I not accept the new Teams and Condition?

I am not happy that Whatsapp information will gonna shared with Facebook Inc..... that means instagram, and facebook app can access my whatsapp telephone number and the conservation. 

on September 8, 2016

Rudd.M Horry You must. Your FB app already has your phone number anyway, isn't it?

Sean Ferguson Terms should be the word you're looking for.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Global messaging service WhatsApp says it will start sharing the phone numbers of its users with Facebook, its parent company. That means WhatsApp users could soon start seeing more targeted ads and Facebook friend suggestions on Facebook based on WhatsApp information — although not on the messaging service itself.

The move is a subtle but significant shift for WhatsApp, used by more than 1 billion people around the world. When it was acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping $21.8 billion two years ago, executives promised privacy would be safeguarded.

"This is a strong-arm tactic on the part of Facebook," said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, D.C. "They continue on a campaign on to run roughshod on our privacy rights."

 
WhatsApp is giving users a limited time to opt out of sharing their information with Facebook, although they must take the extra step of unchecking a box to do so. It also says Facebook won't post phone numbers online or give them out to anyone.

 
But the giant social network has been looking for ways to make money from WhatsApp since it bought the service two years ago. At the same time, Facebook has pledged not to interfere with a longstanding promise by WhatsApp's co-founders to respect users' privacy and keep ads off its messaging platform.

WhatsApp on Thursday offered a glimpse of its plans for turning on the money spigot, releasing new documents that describe the company's privacy policy and the terms of service that users must agree to follow. The documents are the first revision of those policies since 2012, before Facebook acquired WhatsApp.

One change follows through on previous hints by WhatsApp executives, who have said they're exploring ways for businesses to communicate with customers on WhatsApp. That could include using WhatsApp to provide receipts, confirm a reservation or update the status of a delivery.

Companies could also send marketing offers or messages about sales to individual customers, according to the new documents, which note that users will be able to control or block such messages. WhatsApp says it will continue to bar traditional display ads from its service.

"We do not want you to have a spammy experience," the company tells users in a summary of the new policies.

Another change is potentially more controversial: WhatsApp says it will begin "coordinating" accounts with Facebook by sharing WhatsApp users' mobile phone numbers and device information, such as the type of operating system and other smartphone characteristics. The company says Facebook will employ the phone number internally to better identify WhatsApp users on Facebook, so it can make friend suggestions or show targeted advertising.

The ads would come through a Facebook program called "Custom Audiences," which lets a business upload lists of customers and phone numbers or other contact information the business has collected from warranty cards or other sources. Facebook matches the list to users with the same information and shows them ads. Facebook says it doesn't give out users' information to advertisers.

WhatsApp phone numbers are valuable to Facebook. While the social network already has many phone numbers, it doesn't require users to provide them, and doesn't always have the most current number for everyone on Facebook. But anyone on WhatsApp must provide a current phone number because that's how WhatsApp knows where to deliver messages.

The coordination of accounts may draw fire from privacy advocates. WhatsApp has long promised not to employ user data for advertising. Its acquisition by Facebook two years ago sparked complaints from activists who worried the new owner would start mining WhatsApp accounts. Though both companies pledged WhatsApp would operate separately from its parent, the Federal Trade Commission warned them publicly, in a 2014 letter, against changing how they employ WhatsApp user data without users' consent.

WhatsApp says current users have up to 30 days to accept the new policy terms or stop using the service. Once they accept, they have 30 more days to opt out of sharing with Facebook.

Privacy groups have praised WhatsApp for building powerful encryption into its services, making it impossible for the company or anyone else to read users' messages. WhatsApp promises that encryption will remain, so neither WhatsApp nor Facebook would be able to use message content for advertising purposes.

But privacy activists also criticized the 30-day window to opt out.

"Very few people opt out, it should be an informed opt in," Chester said. "No data should be used unless people are informed honestly about how it's going to be used."

on August 26, 2016

Ng Man Facebook should be condemned

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France and Germany are to pressure the EU to let them break one of the most central technologies of the internet.

The two countries plan to ask the European Commission to force technology companies to limit the encryption used to keep messages private.

The rule is being proposed as a way of helping governments monitor communications between suspected terrorists. The French Interior Ministry said that it would only use the powers to monitor people who were being investigated.

But privacy advocates have repeatedly said that it wouldn’t be possible to weaken encryption only for those that are under investigation. Allowing authorities to read any specific message also stops all of them from being fully private, they have said. Making it possible to read any specific message also stops all of them from being fully private, they have said.

What’s more, activists say that such technology is central to keep all behaviour on the internet private. As well as being used in messaging apps, encryption ensures that banking transactions and other important and intimate information is kept private.

The push was announced by French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He said that he and his German counterparts would ask the European Commission to limit encryption across the continent, at an EU summit next month.

“Exchanges carried out via applications like Telegram must be identified and used in the course of judicial proceedings,” Mr Cazeneuve said.

“We propose that the EU Commission studies the possibility of a legislative act introducing rights and obligations for operators to force them to remove illicit content or decrypt messages as part of investigations, whether or not they are based in Europe.”

on August 24, 2016
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WhatsApp completed its effort to fully encrypt every message and call made over its application. This means that even if WhatsApp wanted to, employees wouldn’t be able to peer into users’ messages or hand them over to snooping authorities.

WhatsApp announced Tuesday that messages sent over the service are only stored in a meaningless hash on WhatsApp servers by default. The update took a year and a half to roll out, and affects the messaging service’s billion users. WhatsApp has been in the process of strengthening privacy since November 2014, when it partnered with Open Whisper Systems to implement the nonprofit’s encryption protocols.

The new privacy standards could affect the messenger’s one billion users, but the end-to-end encryption is reliant on all communicants being upgraded to the software’s latest version. The WhatsApp client will notify users as to whether or not their messages are fully encrypted.

While the company’s blog post calls encryption “one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age,” many in the US government have sought to undermine encryption on the basis of national security concerns. WhatsApp has been in the crosshairs of authorities before, and in March the service’s messaging encryption thwarted a court-approved wiretap.

#security #IT #Facebook #Whatsapp #encryption

on April 6, 2016

Tech Mod I really appreciate it. It is not a business requirement, but a IT initiative

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Feature wise whatsapp is kind of backward nowadays. So many other apps are doing exactly what they are doing plus a lot more.

Personally I like using Tinder to make new friends, and snapchat to chat with my buddies. Somehow, my parents refuse to use anything but whatsapp so I use them anyway.

on May 10, 2015
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