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Some investigators view the WhatsApp issue as even more significant than the one over locked phones because it goes to the heart of the future of wiretapping. They say the justice department should ask a judge to force WhatsApp to help the government get information that has been encrypted. Others are reluctant to escalate the dispute, particularly with senators saying they will soon introduce legislation to help the government get data in a format it can read.
In a twist, the government helped develop the technology behind WhatsApp's encryption. To promote civil rights in countries with repressive governments, the Open Technology Fund, which promotes open societies by supporting technology that allows people to communicate without the fear of surveillance, provided $2.2 million to help develop Open Whisper Systems, the encryption backbone behind WhatsApp.
Facebook own the app
originally posted by: lordcomac
You'd be a fool to think the NSA doesn't already have the private encryption keys- but the rest of the government is jealous.