Today two pieces of news have been published that we are going to summarize in one to make one thing clear: nothing is 100% private on the internet. One of the news talks about WhatsApp, and personally it has not surprised me at all, but the other talks about Protonmail, a service that encrypts emails to the point that in Russia was blocked. Now, the news is very different from one another, and much more worrying is the report on the Facebook-owned messaging app.
So and how we read on 9to5Mac, a report from a reliable source ensures that messages cannot be end-to-end encrypted (end-to-end), since Facebook is somehow able to see their content. The report mentions metadata analysis, a method that the famous social network company is known to use to detect problematic messages without knowing the content, but it also means that moderators and engineer can "examine user messages, images and videos ».
ProtonMail cooperates, but within the law
The report on WhatsApp and its real end-to-end non-encryption says that moderators work under conditions of extreme secrecy, but, as I say, if a human can see it, a Facebook AI can analyze a lot more, so it could do what best knows: learn what interests us to show us personalized advertising.
The other news is a little more surprising, but only a little if we take into account how the events have happened. So and how do you pick up Tech Crunch, a French activist was using ProtonMail to communicate with other people. The French police could do nothing to access any type of information about these messages, but Europol made the Swiss authorities, where the service is hosted and whose laws it has to comply with, ask them for all the information they could provide. The only thing they did under a court order was give the French police the activist's IP; the content of emails remains unknown.
However the IP opened a new avenue of investigation for them and in the end they found him. There is a big difference between both ways of acting: with WhatsApp we already know that we have zero privacy; With ProtonMail, at least what we send will only be seen by us and the recipient, but no service is exempt from complying with the laws of the country where it operates, and we have to be aware of this.