Google and Allo: Another Encrypted Messaging App
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, another encrypted messaging app – Allo – is coming out…from Google. Although there are some interesting new features – like artificial intelligence – I’m not here to do a product review. More of a prediction.
Dangerous Shores Lie Ahead With Allo
Will Google really encrypt the app end-to-end? Yes and no. Yes they will, but not by default. The user will have to intentionally go into the settings and enable the feature. Why does that matter? For two reasons.
First – Google makes their money by knowing what you do, when you do, how you do it, why you do it…etc. It’s difficult to see how a system that is cloaked can give Google the information they need to mine the behaviors they want to show you the ads you are so tired of seeing. I find it hard to believe that this part of the Holy Grail will be given up so easily by Google.
Second – Android phones are already known to be insecure. The false belief and siren call of encryption end-to-end will be quickly dispelled when an exploit is found on the Android platform that gives access to previously ‘secure’ communications. Think I’m kidding? Google (pun intended) Android Vulnerability. Look at the hundreds of millions of devices that are open to some type of hacking and exploit.
Another Channel For Bad Guys and Girls
It’s inevitable. It always happens. Secrets…they end up being no longer secret and then the bad guys and girls know what we do and how we do it. Tracking satellite phones, intercepting email, tapping into undersea cables – name it. And those are some of the tools that were exposed by traitors like Aldrich Hazen Ames and Robert Phillip Hanssen.
Over time terrorists, criminals, organized crime, drug cartels, human traffickers and more listen, read and hear what the government is doing. As we now know, the FBI couldn’t crack the iPhone 5c from the POS terrorists from San Bernardino. They needed help. WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage, Signal – just a few examples used by everyone including the criminals.
When The Wolf Comes Knocking
And he will. When that day comes, will you be okay with the fact that the government – law enforcement, military, intelligence – will have one less tool to detect and prevent a terrorist attack? Or recover a missing child? Stop a human trafficking ring? Find a battered wife?
We are reaching a point where there will be no going back. Are you prepared for that?