WhatsApp cannot ban the Taliban because it cannot read their texts

The United States takes the “L” in Afghanistan with diplomats and allies flees the country.

And as the Taliban began to tighten control over the country and its capital, Kabul, the militant group used Facebook’s own WhatsApp messaging app to spread its political views and gain the favor of residents, according to signals from citizens and other on – the – spot observers in Afghanistan, in addition to initial report from Deputy.

However, because WhatsApp is an encrypted and private messaging service, the company does not have access to the content of messages sent to or from the Taliban, raising the issue of privacy and how it can sometimes work against people’s self-interest.

WhatsApp cannot read Taliban encrypted messages

This was stated by a spokesman for WhatsApp Deputy the company fully complies with U.S. sanctions law, which means that if it identifies a person or organization using the application that is currently sanctioned by the country, action will be taken (including a ban on accounts). But to identify a WhatsApp user, you need access to his messages. But this is not an easy task for an end-to-end encryption platform, which is why we have not seen any significant action against the accounts spreading the Taliban’s words in Afghanistan. “As a private messaging service, we do not have access to the content of people’s personal chats; but if we find out that a sanctioned person or organization may be present on WhatsApp, we take action, ”the spokesman added in the report.

The Taliban are sending messages to Kabul residents declaring their sovereign power over security in the capital, urging citizens to report any looting or “irresponsible” behavior that essentially makes the battle group double as a de facto police force, according to report from The Washington Post. “Islamic Emirates assures you that no one should panic or fear,” a statement from Post. “The Taliban are taking over the city without fighting, and no one will be at risk.” As many of us need to know so far, an authoritarian regime will always present itself in a good light, even when they are at their worst. It is therefore not surprising that they do not deviate from the use of modern communication platforms.

Using the Taliban WhatsApp reminds us of the price of privacy

Iran’s ruling forces use Instagram and Twitter to share messages with Western powers. The United States has invented modern media platforms, and it’s not hard to say not everything the U.S. government or U.S. corporations do or say is in the best interest of the people, so we should expect the same from their (former) enemies. But while the United States has virtually unprecedented control over modern communications systems, the Taliban are more skilled than some might want to believe. In the United States, big politicians and corporate donors from large industries have been involved in activities that put human life at risk (just look at climate change), but many are protected by privacy laws. This made the necessary changes in the United States especially difficult after Judgment of the Supreme Court of Citizens United of 2010which gives corporations some of the same legal rights that human beings enjoy.

On the other hand, the same privacy rights that can harm ordinary U.S. citizens also protect Taliban officials, whose policies are likely to jeopardize the equal rights of women and girls, may not face bans on encrypted platforms, as the attractiveness of security is the reason that there are applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and others. The question here is not whether we should abolish privacy, because the goal of banning Taliban officials justifies the means of sacrificing so-called American values ​​to one’s privacy. Instead, what seems clear is this: For any vulnerable person who needs a secure and encrypted messaging platform to exercise their freedom of speech without risking their life or livelihood, there is someone else who is willing to hide behind this veil of freedom to highlight a cause that will ultimately reduce the human condition. And in a world increasingly filled with political division (and on the subject of a sovereign nation occupied by foreign forces for 20 years), there are grays on both sides who do not rinse easily.

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