End-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption

#GS 03 Science and Technology, Cyber Security

For Prelims

End-to-end encryption:

  • End-to-end encryption is a communication process that encrypts data being shared between two devices.
  • It prevents third parties like cloud service providers, internet service providers (ISPs) and cybercriminals from accessing data while it is being transferred.
  • The process of end-to-end encryption uses an algorithm that transforms standard text into an unreadable
  • This format can only be unscrambled and read by those with the decryption keys, which are only stored on endpoints and not with any third parties including companies providing the service.
  • End-to-end encryption has long been used when transferring business documents, financial details, legal proceedings, and personal conversations.


  • End-to-end encryption is used to secure communications.
  • Some of the popular instant-messaging apps that use it are Signal, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Google messages.
  • It is also used to secure passwords, protect stored data and safeguard data on cloud storage.


For Mains

The Concerns:

Law and Order:
  • Law enforcement agencies advocate encryption schemes that give “lawful access by design”, that would enable tech companies “served with a legal order” to decrypt data.
  • In 2019, the S., the U. K., and Australia planned to pressure Facebook to create a backdoor into its encrypted messaging apps.
  • The aim was to allow governments to access the contents of private communications.
  • Australia, in 2018, passed laws that would force tech companies and service providers to build capabilities allowing law enforcement secret access to messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
  • Cryptographers and cybersecurity experts argue that attempts by law enforcement to weaken encryption with backdoors are ill-advised and could compromise the reliability of the internet.

Source “What is end-to-end encryption and why are tech companies focusing on it?