Rise of encrypted messaging apps

Signal app, a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Messenger, displayed on a smartphone with Whatsapp and Telegram.

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, encrypted messaging apps have evolved from niche tools for privacy-conscious individuals to mainstream platforms integral to everyday communication, driven by growing public awareness of digital privacy and security.

Telegram launches in 2013 and Signal launches in 2014. WhatsApp introduces end-to-end encryption by default in 2016. Not all encrypted messaging platforms are made equal, and consumers face some confusion around settings and levels of protection. Encrypted messaging apps are under pressure from governments and law enforcement. They’re concerned that encryption can obscure illegal activities, like planning crimes or spreading harmful information. Some governments argue backdoor access is important for national security and public safety.

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