Gizmodo: How WhatsApp Swallowed Half The World

Gizmodo: How WhatsApp Swallowed Half The World. “You may know Facebook as an awful site with awful design that’s full of awful people, and the less time anyone spends on it the better. But if you live in a place like Brazil, Uganda, or any other country in the ‘Global South,’ Facebook’s services aren’t just apps where your weird uncle goes to share Trump memes. In fact, they’re not apps at all. They’re utilities. They’re communication and commerce, newspapers and yellow pages, all at once. So when all of that goes down in one fell swoop, you’re not relieved. You’re panicked.”

HuffPost: Facebook’s ‘Digital Colonialism’ Made Monday’s Outage A Crisis For The World

HuffPost: Facebook’s ‘Digital Colonialism’ Made Monday’s Outage A Crisis For The World. “The Facebook outage that struck Monday morning and lasted throughout the day was ultimately a minor inconvenience for most Americans. But in countries like Brazil, it caused a destabilizing and disorienting seven hours ― not because Facebook.com was gone, but because WhatsApp, the messaging service the company also owns, suddenly went offline along with it. Still largely an afterthought in the United States, WhatsApp has grown into one of the world’s most vital communications services. More than 2 billion people ― 1 in 4 people on the planet ― use it. Brazil and India alone are home to nearly one-quarter of them.”

Brian Krebs: What Happened to Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp?

Brian Krebs: What Happened to Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp?. “Facebook and its sister properties Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering from ongoing, global outages. We don’t yet know why this happened, but the how is clear: Earlier this morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke key digital records that tell computers and other Internet-enabled devices how to find these destinations online.”

Wired: WhatsApp Fixes Its Biggest Encryption Loophole

Wired: WhatsApp Fixes Its Biggest Encryption Loophole. “Over the next few weeks, WhatsApp will roll out an update that adds end-to-end encryption to backups, should you so choose. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature in a Facebook post this morning. It’s a complex solution to a longstanding issue, and one that sets a precedent for companies that don’t want to rely quite so extensively on the security of the world’s handful of dominant cloud providers.”

Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages (The Scotsman)

The Scotsman: Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages. “Scottish ministers may be deleting controversial text and WhatsApp messages from their phones permanently due to the failure of the Scottish Government to have an adequate back-up system in place.”

BBC: WhatsApp issued second-largest GDPR fine of €225m

BBC: WhatsApp issued second-largest GDPR fine of €225m. “WhatsApp has been fined €225m (£193m) by Ireland’s data watchdog for breaching privacy regulations. It is the largest fine ever from the Irish Data Protection Commission, and the second-highest under EU GDPR rules. Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has its EU headquarters is in Ireland, and the Irish regulator is the lead authority for the tech giant in Europe.” €225m is about $266.5 million USD.

CNN: The Taliban’s social media dilemma

CNN: The Taliban’s social media dilemma. “…even as the Taliban presses for US forces to leave the country, it remains reliant on American social media companies such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) to get its message out, both within Afghanistan and beyond its borders. On Twitter, for example, multiple Taliban spokesmen, including Mujahid and Suhail Shaheen, have active, unverified accounts, each with more than 300,000 followers. But many of those platforms, including Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp, have said they will crack down on accounts run by or promoting the Taliban.”

Ars Technica: WhatsApp shuts down Taliban helpline in Kabul

Ars Technica: WhatsApp shuts down Taliban helpline in Kabul. “WhatsApp has shut down a complaints helpline set up by the Taliban when it took control of Kabul, after the messaging app came under pressure to block the group from using its services. The complaints number was supposed to act as an emergency hotline for civilians to report violence, looting or other problems. The Taliban advertised the helpline on Sunday when it captured the city, and has used similar WhatsApp hotlines in the past, for example when it took over the city of Kunduz in 2016.”

Mashable: WhatsApp won’t use Apple’s child abuse image scanner, citing vague privacy fears

Mashable: WhatsApp won’t use Apple’s child abuse image scanner, citing vague privacy fears. “Just because Apple has a plan — and a forthcoming security feature — designed to combat the spread of child sex abuse images, that doesn’t mean everyone’s getting on board. WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart joined the chorus of Apple critics on Friday, stating in no uncertain terms that the Facebook-owned messaging app won’t be adopting this new feature once it launches.”

Ubergizmo: Facebook Reportedly Researching How To Analyze Your Encrypted WhatsApp Messages

Ubergizmo: Facebook Reportedly Researching How To Analyze Your Encrypted WhatsApp Messages. “According to a report from The Information (paywall), it seems that Facebook is apparently researching ways that they might be able to analyze your messages, even if it was encrypted. We’re not talking about Facebook trying to break their own encryption, but rather to make sense of already-encrypted data and to extract information from it that could in turn be used to help bolster targeted advertising.”

WhatsApp Alternative: Former CBO Of WhatsApp Launches New Private Social Media, HalloApp (Fossbytes)

Fossbytes: WhatsApp Alternative: Former CBO Of WhatsApp Launches New Private Social Media, HalloApp . “Two former employees have launched a WhatsApp alternative private social media app called HalloApp. Founded by Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, both key figures in WhatsApp before and after Facebook’s acquisition. Neeraj was WhatsApp’s chief business officer until 2018, and Donohue was its engineering director for nearly nine years.”