WhatsApp and Telegram have taken to the limelight thanks to the great ways of offering users with secure end-to-end encryption messaging services.
However, the two are now being blamed for activities that are also being linked to the ISIS terror group. According to the latest reports, WhatsApp and Telegram are now being used by the ISIS to sell sex slaves. The platforms pose as advertisement media where the Yazidi women are put up for sale.
It is also alleged that the two apps have also been used in the past by the same group for recapturing escaped women. They do so by distributing photos of the escaped women so that they can be identified at checkpoints. All these is be pinned down to the tough end-to-end encryption protocols that both WhatsApp and Telegram use to protect their users’ privacy.
With this type of encryption, it means that no other party, apart from the sender and recipient of the message, can come between any given conversations being held on these apps. This has meant that authorities cannot get even close to any of these photos being distributed on the two chat apps. It is also not possible for the developers of the app to come between the conversations for the decryption keys are only stored on the two devices involved in the chat.
If the latest reports are to be believed, there are over 3,000 women and girls in ISIS’ captivity, with the majority of them having been there since 2014.
The Yazidi are a religious Kurdish community found in both Syria and Iraq – the two countries where the terrorist unit has been all over. When they were attacked, ISIS fighters took these women captive and according to the Associated Press, any attempts made to rescue these women have been grave futile.
Apparently, there is still nothing that any of the tagged social media houses has done to take care of this issue, an infuriated Ahmed Burjus pointed out. Burjus is the director of Yazda, UK. This is an organization formed after the 2014 genocide with an aim of supporting the Yazidi community. He also says that ISIS continuously intimidate and threat the Yazidi families by sending them photos of their kidnapped family members, with the Yazidi children being used as a recruitment tool on social media by the same terror group. The latter case comes after alleged photos of Yazidi children emerged on social media, with the kids showing their allegiance to ISIS by raising their index fingers.
In WhatsApp’s capacity, the company says that it does all it can to take care of extremist messages, with one of the leading penalties being disabling of the accounts involved.