WhatsApp, encryption and public safety

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Last month brought news of yet another lone wolf terror attack, in London this time, and yet another instance involving modern communications technology. It seems that the attacker was communicating on his smart phone just moments before the attack using WhatsApp. Naturally the security services want to know who he was communicating with and the content. The wrinkle is that WhatsApp is refusing to break their own encryption to cooperate with the authorities.

At Evizone we have thought long and hard about the dynamic tension between legitimate rights to privacy and the public good. It is technically feasible to build an encryption system so that not even we could break our own encryption. Possibly this is what WhatsApp has done. Is it the right thing to do however? We think not. There are circumstances, and the London attack is certainly one, where the public good must prevail.

Furthermore, Evizone’s secure communications and compliance systems are designed for use by enterprise and government. The need for transparency in the workings of the organization is just as imperative as the need for security. Imagine if employees or public servants are all communicating with unbreakable encryption so no one can monitor what actually is going on. This is why compliance regulations and the duty to provide “Proof of Supervision” exist. The need to maintain transparency and oversight while still preserving appropriate security of sensitive information is critical. Unbreakable encryption and “Proof of Supervision” are mutually exclusive.

It is a difficult needle to thread, but we have done it at Evizone. Information is secure when it needs to be, but transparency and control are maintained and “Proof of Supervision” is unquestioned. Give us a call and we will be happy to show you how we do it.

Bill Wells is the Chairman of Evizone. This blog originally appeared on Bill’s LinkedIn page.

About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com


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