Can police have the data of the IM chats of whatsapp,facebook,skype,viber...?

When we are txting using IM chats, does police get these data?
IhabAsked:
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tliottaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Note that regardless of anything you read, you will never know unless you do the coding of the app itself. (Even then, it's not absolute certainty unless perhaps you also create your own hardware.)

If you have concerns over authorities knowing the content of your conversations, then don't send questionable data. Otherwise, all you can do is vote and donate time/money to appropriate civil rights efforts.

Either trust the app providers or don't.

Tom
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This depends on the country your in. In most civilized countries, the police need official warrants to be allowed access to any such data. Besides that, it also depends on where the data of those chats are hosted. If the hosting servers are in different countries, it can be difficult for the police to get to that info even if they have the official warrants.

Of course there is this business with the USA and NSA (that's not the police), and they seem to have access to almost anything. Of course what they do is unlawful, at least in most civilized countries...
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
I think it depends on who you are.

If you are a high profile public figure, the police/secret service/competition will have files on you and there's a high chance someone is monitoring your communications.

If you're a plain Joe, your data might be part of data acquired en mass by the police/NSA but it won't be read by a human until you become a part of the first category or the content of your conversations will raise a red flag in an automated scanner.

In other words, if you don't deal in drugs/guns/children etc and you're not a politician/CEO you don't need to worry about police reading your chat.
You do have to worry though about your friends/neighbors, as they are the most likely to be interested in you.

HTH,
Dan
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IhabAuthor Commented:
So technically they can do, but because of the huge data they will not monitor until I become specious ,correct me if I am wrong
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Yup.
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IhabAuthor Commented:
but I read in whatsapp that the data is encrypted
Thanks for your support , .
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Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
Yes, whatsapp started encrypting their data. This is from their faq: http://www.whatsapp.com/faq/general/21864047

But apparently did not get it right: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2053480/doh-basic-flaw-in-whatsapp-could-allow-attackers-to-decrypt-messages.html

What that means is that if the police/nsa have your encrypted conversation, they can decrypt it.
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IhabAuthor Commented:
Does this monitoring done in the ISP?
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Mass monitoring is done at the ISP/backbone level.

Targeted monitoring (when the police are specifically targeting you) can be as small and direct as a phone sniffer.
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IhabAuthor Commented:
Does targeted monitoring includes whatsapp, facebook, viber, skype...?
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
From what I heard, the NSA can decrypt some encrypted data. It seems they have been provided with decryption keys by some of the manufacturers.

But again, it depends largely on which country you are in. Some which I don't regard as being "very civilised" don't regard the personal privacy, freedom of thought and talk, and human rights of their citizens very high, and those countries often have censorship etc. In those countries you can expect getting observed by "authorities" even if you don't fall under a direct suspicion category.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Furthermore, if you are in one of those countries, encrypting your communications will automatically draw attention to you...
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IhabAuthor Commented:
Very Bad, I thought that technically can't happened due to the large amount of data and encryption regardless of the laws
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Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
A good encryption cannot be broken... if done right. But a court order can always force you to decrypt your data, so encryption is not the ultimate solution.

That being said, for the security conscious, there are options. For ex: https://whispersystems.org/

They have call and sms encryption that supposedly work.
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IhabAuthor Commented:
A scenario, suppose I am txting my friend on whatsapp , does security systems monitor real time the txting?like on keyword or something like that?
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Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
Don't think it's real time.

But it depends on the country, I guess. China, North Korea, maybe Middle East countries, might have better monitoring capabilities for their citizens.
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IhabAuthor Commented:
Thanks
I will leave the question open for more advices
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