Did they make a subsequent announcement that they were encrypting those?
Also, I guess it is possible that the so called terrorists used iPhones, but I think there's a higher chance they used Android phones. Of course we don't know exactly, but either way you shouldn't have assumed Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption even before this.
So those who thought Whatsapp was "safe", treat this as yet another warning sign that you shouldn't be using it for private conversations.
Those who were already paranoid about it, you probably weren't using it already for that, so this changes nothing.
They most certainly did:
As of May 2015, iOS has 53.5% of the mobile market Android
41.7% (in Belgium) - source: http://howwebrowse.be/
Good point, thanks
tl;dr end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp is not really useful (yet)
Of course if you want the most secure communication possible with someone, you won't use a smartphone in the first place. There isn't a cellphone on the planet that's 100% secure from eavesdropping.
Have they made this claim though, or stated it as a goal?
That said, come on... there's no user exposed key management in Whatsapp, or secure means to perform a handshake with your contacts. Even if they've really rolled out Moxies crypto protocol on Android, like they claim (go look at the source and verify... oh, wait), on features alone you can't trust it... you just can't create a secure channel unless you're in control of the keys.
And on terrorists using Whatsapp... well, Whatsapp accounts are tied to your cell phone #. The authorities can work with WhatsApp to piece together who messaged who, and when, and where you both physically were at the time. This is enough to bust terrorists. Deploying E-to-E crypto was never about anonymity.
Furthermore they've only rolled it out about 6 months ago, there's a good chance that the information which lead to this case was collected before the E2E encryption was rolled out.
There's no guarantee that apple/google/microsoft haven't been ordered to install a backdoored version.
tl;dr RMS was right
In the comments on this unrelated story of identifying a terrorist people argued that it's possible the story is deliberate misinformation, it could also be the case here.
Almost certainly Whatsapp is doing consumer to server encryption, but not end to end. If this is true, then Whatsapp holds or can decrypt the internal storage or transfer of messages.
Alternatively, there is a likelihood that the encryption keys are escrowed or trivially encrypted.
This is what we're seeing in the consolidating web giant world. Words don't match technical expectations, but they meet the letter of the law. We see/saw the same thing with privacy.
Perhaps they pushed an insecure version on the suspects.
The correct title for this story would be "Belgium Arrests Two in Probe Over Returning Syria Fighter".
EDIT: For reference, the original title was something to the effect of WhatsApp - so much for end-to-end encryption.
I'd say that paragraph made it "close enough" to the original title, myself.
> "End-to-end" means that, unlike messages encrypted by Gmail or Facebook Chat, WhatsApp won't be able to decrypt the messages itself, even if the company is compelled by law enforcement. The company will set up the key exchange between users, but only the two users will have access to the conversation itself. There are other end-to-end encryption apps on the market — most notably Cryptocat, Silent Text and Telegram — but with over 600 million users across the world, WhatsApp is by far the largest platform to adopt the system.
Its pretty clear their claims of end-to-end encryption are BS and since they can gain access to the keys.
Additionally these points are excellent as well:
EDIT: The only reason I can think of is that someone might think Bloomberg wrote the title (because of bloomberg.com and possibly Google results). If that's the real reason, then fair enough. Otherwise it seems awfully silly.
It's good enough when Bloomberg submits it to its own site because that lead is the primary information.
ON HN, where it is submitted because of WhatsApp being mentioned it's not the `lead' at all: it's a detail of the whole story.
I live in Belgium so I thought it was weird it was on HN and that I didn't hear anything of that story that might have interested HN and made me go "I should submit this to HN".
edit: borken english is broken
Perhaps moderators should take the time to cull/derank these comments when they fix the titles.
and note taken