WhatsApp is leading the way to limit the NSA's visibility into consumer's lives. The company, along with others, sees encryption as a way to limit surveillance.
There’s room for debate over whether passing the Freedom Act would have been a wise choice for surveillance reform. Some argued the weaker legislation should be pushed through, warts and all; others worried that passing anything less than comprehensive reform would prove ineffective and doom future attempts to rein in the NSA. But one thing is clear: More than a year after Snowden’s revelations, the failure to follow through on any surveillance reform whatsoever has demonstrated how little Congress has challenged the spy agencies it supposedly oversees. Private companies and citizens know this. That’s why services such as WhatsApp are joining with activists and technologists to embrace encryption as a solution. The logic is simple: If the state isn’t going to protect our privacy, we’ll build technology to protect ourselves from the state.