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WhatsApp and iMessage provide user data at the request of the FBI

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WhatsApp and iMessage provide user data at the request of the FBI
Rolling Stone magazine published a document according to which the FBI, upon request, can receive data from users' correspondence from instant messengers. In particular, it indicated a list of proposals that can most readily provide such information to the department.

According to the source, the WhatsApp messenger is the least secure from this point of view. When a FBI warrant is submitted, the app delivers the information the agency needs with almost no delay.

WhatsApp and iMessage provide user data at the request of the FBI


As part of an investigation, reports may be sent to the FBI every fifteen minutes. Moreover, the bureau can take over the history of WhatsApp chats on Apple devices, since the information is stored as archives in the iCloud cloud storage. The authors of the presented document also note that most messaging services cannot provide data as quickly, which can sometimes affect the course of the investigation due to delays in receiving data.

WhatsApp's press office told reporters that the company actually responds to input from users' devices in near real time. But company representatives also note that an important context is omitted in the document - WhatsApp reports for the FBI do not provide the content of the correspondence, which is protected by end-to-end encryption, but only the fact of the presence of correspondence.

A spokesperson for WhatsApp does not hide that the messenger carries out research, verification and reporting on requests from law enforcement agencies in accordance with the law, as reported on the company's website and in regular transparency reports.



The document also talks about the insecurity of the iMessage messenger. This application transmits basic information about a person, about his contacts and actions over the past 25 days with a written order or a court order. However, the reporting lacks the actual content of the messages. At the same time, journalists noticed that Apple in any case has encryption keys that can be used to view backups of chats in iCloud.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Telegram is the most secure - the application can give the agency only the user's phone number and his IP address, and then only if there is a suspicion of terrorist activity. Signal provides authorities with a report on the date of registration and the last activity of the account, while Viber sends the phone number, metadata and IP address at the time of registration.
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