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Google, Facebook, and others following Apple’s lead on encryption


Google, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and other tech giants are reportedly working on their own increased privacy measures, as Apple continues to win over the general public during its encryption standoff with the FBI.

A report from U.K. newspaper The Guardian provides a few limited details about what the companies have planned.

WhatsApp is reported to be expanding its secure messaging service by encrypting voice calls. Facebook, meanwhile, is allegedly considering adding additional security to its Messenger app, while Snapchat is “working on a secure messaging system.”

Most significant of all is Google, which is said to be revisiting a 2014 project called “End to End,” which lets users send encrypted emails which can only be decoded by sender and recipient. Originally a collaboration with Yahoo, the project slowed to a crawl, but has seen renewed interest as of late — although there’s no specific word on when users will be able to take it for a spin.

Along with Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft, Google, Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) and Snapchat have all signed legal briefs supporting Apple in its current encryption legal case.

While Apple has, in the past, used its focus on privacy as a way to differentiate itself in the marketplace from rivals such as Google, it’s definitely a net positive for users to see Silicon Valley follow Apple’s lead in this particular issue — even if the projects do pre-date the San Bernardino shooting court case in some instances.

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