WhatsApp's Face-to-Face Encryption Messages Aren't Private Anyway

Millions of WhatsApp messages are reviewed by artificial intelligence and human monitors.

Yesterday, independent newsroom ProPublica released a detailed article examining the privacy claims of the popular messaging platform WhatsApp. The service generally offers "global encryption," which most users interpret to mean that Facebook, owner of WhatsApp since 2014, cannot read messages itself or give them to law enforcement.

This claim contradicts the simple fact that Facebook uses about 1,000 WhatsApp screens, and all of its work is - you guessed it - to check WhatsApp messages that are labeled "inappropriate".

End-to-end encryption - but what is "end"?

This snippet from <a href=Security & Privacy seems easy to understand. "src=" jpg "alt=" Face-to-face WhatsApp messages are not private anyway "srcset=" wp-content/uploads/2021/09/whatsapp-end- to-end-screenshot.png 2x "> Zoom in / This part of the WhatsApp security and privacy page is not easily explained. The recipient of each WhatsApp message can flag it. After reporting, the message is copied to the recipient's device and sent to Facebook as a separate message For review.

Messages are usually the same as the reasons for tagging Facebook itself, including allegations of fraud, spam, child pornography and other illegal activities. West for the WhatsApp review system.

Although there is nothing to suggest that Facebook is currently collecting user messages without the recipient's manual intervention, there is no technical reason. Mobile messaging, which includes the app itself as well as its users.


The mobile messaging platform can End-to-end code, for example, automatically scans AI-based content for all messages on your device, then automatically sends messages to send more performance to the cloud platform. Finally, privacy-focused users should rely on the platform's policies and trust as much as they rely on technology hotspots.

Edit content by any other name

When the WhatsApp review card arrives, the system automatically enters an "interactive" queue for human contract workers to evaluate. - Includes user group profile names and photos, phone numbers, device fingerprints, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and more.

WhatsApp Human Judges For Both Waiting And Active - To Report And/or Suspected Policy Violation The judges have only three options for a ticket - ignore it, put the account in 'monitored' mode, or block full consideration. (According to ProPublica, Facebook uses a limited set of actions as an excuse to say that judges on this platform are not "content modifiers.")

WhatsApp moderators — forgive us, critics — have fewer options than they do. Their Facebook or Instagram counterparts face similar challenges and have similar disadvantages. Accenture — the company that Facebook contracts with to edit and review — hires workers who speak a variety of languages ​​— but not all languages. When messages arrive in languages ​​unfamiliar to them, they have to rely on Facebook's machine translation tools.

"It was always awful during the three years I was there." He told ProPublica that Facebook's translation tool provides little or no guidance on slang or local language - which is not surprising, given that it often has difficulty even identifying the source language. A barber company that sells straight razors may be mistaken for "selling handguns," while the bra maker is known as the "sex trade." For example, decisions about child pornography may require comparing the buttock bones and genital hair of a naked person with a medical chart, or decisions about political violence may require guessing whether a severed head is real or fake.

Not surprisingly, some WhatsApp users also use their reporting system to attack other users. One observer told ProPublica that "we had a few months when AI banned left and right groups" because users in Brazil and Mexico changed the messaging group's name to problematic, and then reported the message. “At worst, we probably got tens of thousands of them. They found words that the algorithm didn't like,” Nazim recalls.

Unencrypted Metadata

Although the "end-to-end" encryption of the contents of WhatsApp messages can only be changed by the sender or the recipient's device itself, many associated metadata are These messages are visible to Facebook - and for law enforcement or otherwise, Facebook decides to share it without notice.

ProPublica has found more than a dozen U.S. Department of Defense files on WhatsApp metadata since 2017. These requests are known as “pen log commands,” which is the appropriately referring term for metadata connection requests on ProPublica landline accounts. This indicates that this is an unknown part of the total application at the time, as many of these applications - and their outcomes - are sealed by the court itself.

Because pen commands and their results are often stamped, it is also not possible to determine exactly what metadata has been changed by the company. Facebook refers to this data as "Pair of Future Messages" (PMP) - the name anonymously given to ProPublica, which we were able to confirm in a January 2020 announcement to Brazilian Ministry of Justice employees.

While we don't know exactly what metadata is in these PMPs, we do know that this information is of great value to law enforcement. Natalie Edwards, former Secretary of the Treasury and a whistleblower in one of the most notorious cases of 2018 for leaking classified banking reports to BuzzFeed via WhatsApp, which she mistakenly thought was "safe"

FBI Special Agent Emily was convicted. Exout was able to provide more details about how Edwards exchanged "nearly 70 messages" with a BuzzFeed reporter between 12:33 a.m. and 12:54 p.m., the day after the article was published — statements that led to six convictions and imprisonment. Help the month of conviction. Conspiracy.

WhatsApp's Face-to-Face Encryption Messages Aren't Private Anyway
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