No, WhatsApp is not backdoored.

Because The Guardian published a false and dangerous article saying that it was, there are now thousands of people who believe WhatsApp is unsafe. They've been misled. For most people, WhatsApp is much safer than any realistic alternative.

Don't take my word for it.

Practically everybody who pays attention to secure messaging has publically disavowed The Guardian's story.

  • The EFF debunked it in a piece calling the story "sensationalistic", and WhatsApp's behavior "sensible".
  • Moxie Marlinspike, debunked it in a piece titled "There is no WhatsApp backdoor", calling The Guardian's story "false" and WhatsApp's behavior "carefully designed". Moxie is not only one of the authors of the Signal Protocol that WhatsApp uses, but also the author of the Signal app, the very application The Guardian recommended in their irresponsible piece.
  • Zeynep Tufekci debunked it in an open letter signed by more than 40 cryptography experts, including Bruce Schneier, Matthew D. Green, Steve Bellovin, Matt Blaze, Bart Preneel, Steve Checkoway, Filippo Valsorda, Jonathan Zdziarski, and many more; a veritable who's who of the study of crypto and backdoors.

These people couldn't agree on pizza toppings if they were all starving.

But they agree on this: WhatsApp is not backdoored, and people who use it should not switch due to The Guardian's slipshod reporting.