It's 2018, five years after Edward Snowden's documents revealed the scope of US and allied mass surveillance; after a string of revelations about creepy private-sector cyber-arms-dealers who sell spying tools to stalkers, criminals, and autocratic governments, Google has proposed "Chat," a new Android standard for instant messaging with no encryption and hence zero protection against snooping.
By contrast, Facebook — tech's most surveillance-happy corporation — added Signal's end-to-end encryption to Whatsapp in 2014.
Amnesty International says that Google has shown "total contempt" for Android users' privacy.
"With its baffling decision to launch a messaging service without end-to-end encryption, Google has shown utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, allowing them easy access to the content of Android users' communications. Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognized as an essential safeguard for protecting people's privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers," Westby contended.
Westby continued, saying: "In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Google's decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy."
Google Accused of Showing 'Total Contempt' for Android Users' Privacy [Candice Lanier/Bleeping Computer]