The Justice Department and the Facebook-owned company are currently locked in a standoff about how to spy on certain messages, according to the New York Times. A judge has allowed the government to look in on the chats of the user, but it can’t do so because those messages are encrypted, reports the New York Times.
Encryption locks messages so that they can only be read by the device that sent them and the one meant to receive them. Technology companies say that using strong encryption is key to their products, and that weakening it in one case would mean weakening it for all.
Some investigators hope that the problems with WhatsApp’s encryption could be solved by having a judge force WhatsApp to help get information by unlocking the app’s encryption, according to the NYT. Others say that the law should be changed to avoid similar difficulties in future.