WhatsApp could roll out an encrypted phone call service in the coming weeks

As the Apple vs the FBI fight rages on, encryption is as hot a topic as anything. Now, there’s talk that it could soon add secure voice chats to its functionality, too. 

WhatsApp could roll out an encrypted phone call service in the coming weeks

And it could come soon – the app could roll out voice calls in the “coming weeks,” the The Guardian reports. Indeed, it would make the free-to-download app “very difficult for authorities to tap”.

The move is another sign of WhatsApp’s stance in the encryption debate – it’s already tailored to those who don’t want governments prying on their private conversations, and this would further back up this position. 

It has been supplying users with “end-to-end encryption” for messages since 2014.  End-to-end encryption means that messages are encrypted on the phone, during transmission over the network, and when on WhatsApp’s servers, meaning that the company itself has no access to them. 

The company’s founder, Jan Koum, believes encryption and security need to be a standard function of messaging services. Koum, born in Ukraine, has previously talked about his family’s fears that governments would eavesdrop on their conversations.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that his company would fight the US government in court, Koum wrote: “Our freedom and our liberty are at stake”.

As it stands, nothing is certain regarding WhatsApp’s move into encrypted phone calls. But it looks as though it’s going to happen – and an announcement is expected soon.

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