Former US National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden warned senior government officials against using the WhatsApp messenger due to the low level of encryption. With such a statement he made on Monday in an interview with the French radio station France Inter.
“Using WhatsApp by someone who deals with serious issues in the government is a mistake,” he said. In an interview, the journalist of the radio station noted that French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe uses WhatsApp to communicate with other ministers, and President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron prefers Telegram. “Both of these programs are better than using SMS or other unencrypted messages,” Snowden replied. However, he said, these programs are “extremely dangerous if you are the prime minister.”
At the same time, Snowden explained that Facebook “layer by layer removes various levels of protection since it became the owner of the messenger.” Snowden himself recommended using Signal and Wire, as “they use the best encryption and do not belong to Facebook.”
In 2013, Snowden made public the methods of electronic surveillance of American intelligence services, including illegal wiretapping of negotiations between foreign leaders. Fleeing persecution by the US authorities, Snowden sent asylum requests to the authorities of several countries, including Russia. On August 1, 2014, he received a residence permit in the Russian Federation for three years, which was later extended for the same period.
In the USA, Snowden is charged with violating two articles of the espionage law. For each of these items, he faces up to 10 years in prison. Representatives of the US administration have repeatedly stated that they consider Snowden a traitor and are not going to forgive him, since he caused serious damage to the interests of national security.