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WhatsApp Encryption

To accompany an interview with Moxie Marlinspike, Journalist Marc Hijink was working on an explanation of the protocol that WhatsApp and Signal use to ensure encrypted communications between their users. 


To try and go further then the basic explanation of the exchange of keys between two parties I researched what made the signal protocol different from previous encryption techniques.


The signal protocol uses multiple ratchets to ensure every message is encoded with a new key. To give insight into this system I recreated the WhatsApp interface and accompanied it by a visualisation of the actions happening behind the scenes.


I did the research, visualisation and production.

Harrison van der Vliet: text and editing

Marc Hijink: initiator


See the project live on nrc.nl.