Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Sep 2017 18:51 UTC
Internet & Networking

China has largely blocked the WhatsApp messaging app, the latest move by Beijing to step up surveillance ahead of a big Communist Party gathering next month.

The disabling in mainland China of the Facebook-owned app is a setback for the social media giant, whose chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has been pushing to re-enter the Chinese market, and has been studying the Chinese language intensively. WhatsApp was the last of Facebook products to still be available in mainland China; the company's main social media service has been blocked in China since 2009, and its Instagram image-sharing app is also unavailable.

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, which the Chinese government (and western governments) don't like. Either WhatsApp would give China a backdoor, or China would block WhatsApp. This seems to indicate WhatsApp stuck to its encryption.

Let's see what happens to the other big western messaging service with end-to-end encryption still available in China: iMessage. We can safely assume that if iMessage isn't blocked soon, Apple caved, and gave China its backdoor.

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RE: Doesn't necessarily follow
by flanque on Mon 25th Sep 2017 22:06 UTC in reply to "Doesn't necessarily follow"
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It's very unlikely in my view.

Apple strongly protects their brand, which in my view has a material link to their stance on privacy. Imagine the damage to their reputation and stock price if they provided the backdoor and it became known. Disastrous.

I think it's far more likely that it's linked to things like Apple's investment in China, their skills at negotiation or perhaps more simply.. block WhatsApp, WeChat penetration rises - easier to backdoor that.

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