[messaging] WhatsApp & OWS team up

Joseph Bonneau jbonneau at gmail.com
Tue Nov 18 10:16:03 PST 2014

On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:

> https://whispersystems.org/blog/whatsapp/
> Huge, massive congratulations to Moxie and the team - this sort of
> mainstream success is inspiring. I'd been hoping for a long time that once
> TextSecure showed you could build a secure messenger with production
> quality usability, Facebook / WhatsApp might pick it up, and today my dream
> came true :)

I echo the major congratulations! One of our main goals with the EFF
Scorecard was to push big providers to take steps like this, hopefully many
more will follow suit.

> I can see a couple of directions to go now:

I would add

3) Design an efficient, auditable, privacy-friendly public key directory.
WhatsApp/TextSecure still largely rely on a centralized public key
directory. Cracking usable key verification would be great, but I'd also
like these key directories to be able to convincingly prove to me that
they've only signed for a certain set of keys for my username over a given
time period. Some work is underway on this at Princeton and hopefully

> It will be interesting to see what the political ramifications of this
> are. WhatsApp should now be pretty close to intercept-proof for all
> governments bar the USA. Given its ubiquity and complete centralisation
> inside California, I suspect this will result in all kinds of interesting
> jockying as different countries try to get lawful intercept capabilities to
> it (by switching keys, I guess).

Presumably Apple has already been in this position for over a year with
iMessage, although it might be more interesting because WhatsApp doesn't
have the political clout
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