back to article Decrypted WhatsApp chats laid groundwork for Belgian terror raids

The Belgian arrests of terror suspects on Monday were reportedly facilitated by decryption of WhatsApp user chats. WhatsApp cooperated with US intelligence agencies to decrypt user chats before raids against alleged members of an ethnic Chechen jihadist group based in Belgium, Bloomberg reports. Investigators said two people …

  1. Doctor_Wibble
    Black Helicopters

    Coincidental timing?

    Just as governments - including our own splendid magnificences - are demanding the unquestionable right to read all our dirty emails, this comes out to prove that it's absolutely necessary to do it to everybody just in case...

  2. Steven Raith

    Except that the use of existing laws and frameworks allowed it, meaning that they don't need to decrypt everything - just the bits that they feel would be relevant to an investigation.

    You know, with evidence.

    So it kind of shoots their own argument in the foot.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Should we assume a warrant was in place for this?

    Or should we assume this came about from the cross-borders data slurp? The one where everyone shares everyone else's slurp? I do find it interesting that the cases we hear about, and there haven't been enough to really know, seems like the FBI and not NSA did the deed. If this is true, what's NSA really doing then besides collecting and storing?

    I believe a little more transparency is in order... like who collected? Was there a warrant? Was this a random find or did the Belgian's request the info?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Should we assume a warrant was in place for this?

      Well, one of NSA's two primary missions involves making and breaking codes. One might reasonably think they would assist in such matters. In view of the nature of the targets in this instance, their assistance probably would not depend on who collected the encrypted material.

    2. Robert Helpmann??
      Childcatcher

      Re: Should we assume a warrant was in place for this?

      Or should we assume this came about from the cross-borders data slurp?

      The linked article is titled Belgium Arrests Two in Probe Over Returning Syria Fighter and includes the following:

      "Police said earlier that they simultaneously raided 21 locations as part of two probes into jihadist Chechen groups, the country’s federal prosecutors’ office said in a statement. Prosecutors said the arrests were based on police information concerning a wounded man who had returned to Belgium after taking part in the jihad in Syria."

      It at least appears the whole followed what most people would consider a reasonable and legal process.

  4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Waiting for Marsbarbrain and Boring Bernie....

    ..... to come along and say this was all an "illegal invasion of privacy", etc., and "racial profiling" of the wounded al-Nusra jihadi, and try and finish with a weak joke about the Belgians having to look under their beds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Waiting for Marsbarbrain and Boring Bernie....

      Shut it Bryant you sycophant.

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