The increase in popularity of WhatsApp in the workplace has changed the communication makeup of all components of modern society, including the government sector. The past few years have seen many government units around the world adopt mobile platforms, including secure chat apps in an effort to enhance collaboration and also protect their communication lines. But with the enactment of the “Right to Know” Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citizens are also able to request access to these communications.
Even though WhatsApp is still relatively new, it has already faced intense scrutiny from both government entities and FOIA advocates. The end-to-end encryption of this platform has managed to both entice security-conscious individuals and arouse concern of abuse by some government officials to hide their conversations from law enforcement as well as public scrutiny.
While FOIA archiving still remains a challenge in many countries, this has not prevented people from exercising their constitutional right, nor the regulators from investigating government units with an effort to determine if they are complying with the recordkeeping requirements under public records law.
The main mission of FOIA laws is make sure that there is transparency in the government and that officials and employees are held accountable for their activities. Without the ability to capture as well as record WhatsApp chats of the officials and employees, the local, state, and national government offices are at great risk of losing public trust if they fail to provide those records under FOIA request. The good news is that TeleMessage enables public agencies to easily comply with the Public Records, FOIA, as well as Sunshine Laws requirements on archiving text messages.