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UN officials barred from using WhatsApp since June 2019

United Nations officials do not use WhatsApp to communicate because “it’s not supported as a secure mechanism,” a UN spokesman said on Thursday, after UN experts accused Saudi Arabia of using the online communications platform to hack the phone of Amazon chief executive and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.

UN officials barred from using WhatsApp since June 2019

UN officials barred from using WhatsApp since June 2019

STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 24, ARTSAKHPRESS: The independent UN experts said on Wednesday they had information pointing to the “possible involvement” of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the alleged 2018 cyberattack on the billionaire Amazon.com Inc chief.

They called for an immediate investigation by U.S. and other authorities, based on a forensic report by Washington-based FTI Consulting. The report alleges that Bezos’ iPhone was hijacked by a malicious video file sent from a WhatsApp account used by the crown prince, Reuters reports. When asked if U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had communicated with the Saudi crown prince or any other world leaders using WhatsApp, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said on Thursday: “The senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp, it’s not supported as a secure mechanism.”

“So no, I do not believe the secretary-general uses it,” Haq said. He later added that the directive not to use WhatsApp was given to U.N. officials in June last year.

When asked about the move by the United Nations, WhatsApp said it provides industry leading security for more than 1.5 billion users.

“Every private message is protected by end-to-end encryption to help prevent WhatsApp or others from viewing chats. The encryption technology that we developed with Signal is highly regarded by security experts and remains the best available for people around the world,” said WhatsApp Director of Communications Carl Woog.

For that reason, any ban that specifically singles out WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook Inc, might leave digital security experts scratching their heads.


     

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