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Only recipient can see your texts, WhatsApp says as ‘leaked chats’ flood media in Sushant case

In a statement, Facebook-owned WhatsApp says it protects all messages with end-to-end encryption and encourages security practices 'to prevent third parties from accessing content’.

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New Delhi: WhatsApp Friday issued a statement emphasising its privacy framework as it came under the lens after some television news channels started using chat threads as part of their reportage on the Bollywood drugs investigation.

In the statement, the Facebook-owned chat portal said it “protects your messages with end-to-end encryption” and encourages security practices to “to prevent third parties from accessing content”.

“WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp,” it added.

Also Read: After WhatsApp hacking & Covid lockdown, 155% more Indians searched for encrypted email

Leaked chats in media

Many media houses have been airing purported WhatsApp chats of celebrities to establish they use drugs. 

The alleged use of drugs by Bollywood celebrities is currently being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which started looking into the matter after the probe into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death threw up suspicions of drug consumption by him and his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, among others.

The statement from WhatsApp comes amid speculation over how exactly these media houses got their hands on the chats.

A report on NDTV’s Gadgets 360 talked about mobile phone cloning techniques, where the data and cellular identity of a phone are copied to another device, as a possible explanation, while others suggested the chats may have been leaked to the media by investigative agencies.

In its statement, WhatsApp sought to dismiss doubts about its security measures. “It’s important to remember that people sign up on WhatsApp using only a phone number, and WhatsApp doesn’t have access to your message content. WhatsApp follows guidance provided by operating system manufacturers for on-device storage…”

It added, “…We encourage people to take advantage of all the security features provided by operating systems such as strong passwords or biometric IDs to prevent third parties from accessing content stored on the device.” 

Also Read: Deepika, Rhea ‘drugs probe’ to Delhi riots — what law says on WhatsApp chats as evidence


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