Can governments snoop on your social media chats?

What you need to know:

  • In the old days when communication was purely through telephone landlines owned by government monopolies, it was a foregone conclusion that governments had unlimited access to citizen conversations.
  • As communication technology shifted to Internet-based technologies owned by private sector players such as Whatsapp, Telegram and Instagram, it became increasingly difficult and in some cases impossible to tap conversations.
  • In democratic societies, governments have access to the citizen's social media conversations but must first convince a judge or magistrate and get a warrant to authorise them to tap your conversation.
  • What users need to know is that whereas most service providers will provide and guarantee end-to-end encryption during transmission, the same may not apply for the data on your device.

Last weeks article on the proposed social media bill got some readers wondering if governments have the technical capabilities to access and read our private social media conversations.


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