With 1 billion users from WhatsApp and 900 million users from Messenger, Facebook is about to dominate the end-to-end encryption messaging wars.
The social network giant is launching a beta feature called secret conversations in Facebook Messenger for a small group of users for testing — the final version will roll out to Messenger users later in the summer or early fall.
While the National Security Agency leaks from 2013 by Edward Snowden may have turned the spotlight to privacy, it was really the court battle, or lack thereof, between Apple and the FBI that jump-started the encryption war.
Apple initially aided the FBI, but the bureau secured a court order requiring the Cupertino company create a tool to weaken the iPhone encrypted framework.
Apple rejected the court order, but the FBI dropped both that case and another related one, when it managed to break into the subject iPhones thanks to a technique it purchased from professional hackers.
That jump-started a wave of messaging apps to enable end-to-end encryption app-wide — Wire, WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, and Viber turned on the secure messaging function for all its users.