The Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp now offers end-to-end encryption across all of its web and mobile platforms.
The app, which is used by over a billion people around the world, has taken more than 18 months to complete the security landmark.
The end-to-end encryption will only work with the latest version of the WhatsApp app, but in the meantime users will be able to see which messages are encrypted or not. This go-between is likely to be phased out once everyone is on the latest version.
See also: Master messaging with WhatsApp
In a blog post, the company wrote: “Over the past year, we've been progressively rolling out Signal Protocol support for all WhatsApp communication across all WhatsApp clients. This includes chats, group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls across Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, Nokia S60, Blackberry, and BB10.
“As of today, the integration is fully complete. Users running the most recent versions of WhatsApp on any platform now get full end to end encryption for every message they send and every WhatsApp call they make when communicating with each other. This includes all the benefits of the Signal Protocol -- a modern, open source, forward secure, strong encryption protocol for asynchronous messaging systems, designed to make end-to-end encrypted messaging as seamless as possible.”
WhatsApp originally began rolling out end-to-end encryption in November 2014, so the full implementation has been a long time coming.
With Apple and other tech companies suiting up for a battle with respective governments over encrypted communications, WhatsApp’s progress comes at a crucial time.