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Those are useful for restoring a phone if it is lost, stolen or a user buys a new one - but it also means that messages are sent to the cloud without any protection, meaning that it would be possible for someone to break into that backup and read whichever messages they like.
It is expected to publish its own version of Amnesty’s scorecard in the near future.Whats App and Facebook Messenger are the most secure chat platforms, according to Amnesty International.But that decision has already met with scepticism from people in the technology community, some of whom have warned that it might not be safe to use the apps at all.Whats App, which is owned by Facebook and offers end-to-end encryption, has a relatively small but loyal following among users seeking a greater degree of privacy from government snooping than afforded by popular domestic app We Chat, which is ubiquitous but closely monitored and filtered.Questions over Whats App's status come at a politically fraught time in China.And the EFF also pointed to a range of other problems with the privacy tools on Whats App, despite Amnesty’s encouragement.
It pointed out, for instance, that the app uses unencrypted backups.
Amnesty gave Facebook and Whats App a score of 73 out of 100 – its highest – to the two apps, which it didn’t distinguish between.
But it particularly picked out Whats App, which it said was “the only app where users are explicitly warned when end-to-end encryption is not applied to a particular chat”.
The Facebook-owned chat app is being hit by service disruptions and may be on its way to being entirely blocked, according to experts.
Users have reported on other social media platforms that the app is no longer properly accessible unless they use a virtual priavte network to send their internet traffic outside the country and around its great firewall.
If the person a user is talking to is using the backup feature, then the messages will be stored without encryption anyway.