Wednesday , June 19 2024

WhatsApp encryption setback for ‘Spy Bill’ – IT expert

A big blow has been dealt Ghana’s government’s crime fighting efforts through the controversial Spy Bill, as messaging app, WhatsApp, has introduced extra security features that prevent interception of data.

The end-to-end encryption adopted by WhatsApp will make it difficult for the monitoring of information exchanged on its platform.

The Postal Packets and Telecommunications Bill, popularly referred to as the Spy Bill, is currently in parliament.

The bill seeks to authorise law enforcement agencies to monitor and intercept communication to better fight crime, but the latest development presents a hurdle to legislators as communication through WhatsApp will become tougher to tap.

Microsoft Certified Solutions expert and trainer at IPMC, Abu Conde, told Class FM’s Etsey Atisu that the new security feature offered by the company to its over one billion subscribers, will make it difficult for the Ghanaian government to intercept messages.

“It is going to be difficult for government because they do not have the means to decrypt the communication. They are using latest technologies and it will take a lot of time before government will be able to. WhatsApp is not in Ghana and even the US government suffers from the same problem, so, there is no way an institution in Ghana can decrypt every message. It will not be an easy task,” he stated.

Even though he admits that criminals could use it for nefarious activities, he argued that the privacy of clients was also important to the software development firm.

“Government has a right to protect citizens and WhatsApp also has a right to protect consumers. The other side of it is that those terrorists know government tracks what they do, so, if they are planning an attack, they can use the same thing because WhatsApp is protecting that channel,” Mr Conde added.



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