Jewish WhatsApp Founder Fled USSR for 'Anti-Semitism', Laments Communist Spying, yet spies, records & surveils WhatsApp users
By Martin Hill
February 24, 2014


RECENT: Israel/Zionism Archives

This is so rich I couldn't help but post an update to yesterday's article 'WhatsApp' Lets Facebook Spy, Track, Record, Invade, & Monitor EVERYTHING You Do.'
Seeking to learn more about the company's owners, I landed on WhatsApp's'About Us' page, However, that only gives an extremely vague description which states "WhatsApp was founded by two guys who spent combined 20 years doing geeky stuff at Yahoo! Inc. before starting WhatsApp Inc."

Well surprise, surprise! It turns out that Jan Koum, co-founder of the emerging international 'super-App' WhatsApp, is a Jewish immigrant who fled 'anti-semitism' and came to California from the Ukraine with his mom in 1992, after which the duo relied on food-stamps to survive. Last week after WhatsApp was bought by Facebook, Forbes reported

"His house had no hot water, and his parents rarely talked on the phone in case it was tapped by the state. ...At 16, Koum and his mother immigrated to Mountain View, a result of the troubling political and anti-Semitic environment, and got a small two-bedroom apartment though government assistance. His dad never made it over."
In a video interview which can be viewed at the Forward Daily Jewish Newspaper article, 'WhatsApp Founder Jan Koum's Jewish Rags-to-Riches Tale,' 37-year-old Jan Koum talks a lot about the importance of privacy while conveniently omitting all the data that his company collects on users and their detailed terms of use.

Asked about the recent concerns regarding telecommunications companies being targeted by the NSA and how he's protecting the users privacy, Koum specifically decries surveillance and the lack of phone privacy he witnessed as a youth in Communist Russia. "The walls had ears, " he says, and claims privacy is important- but in actuality, WhatsApp terms state just the opposite. Specifically, the 'Permissions' Section On WhatsApp state "This application can accessss the following on your phone: Hardware controls: record audio, take pictures and videos."

Koum recalls

"I grew up in a country where I remember my parents not being able to have a conversation on the phone, my mom would often say this is not a phone conversation, I'll tell you in person. The walls had ears and you couldn't speak freely... to me, being shaped by those experiences it's extremely important that we provide both privacy and security..."

Koum says he wants users to "be able to use our product freely and not be afraid." However, the "When WhatsApp Discloses Information," section admits that "WhatsApp also reserves the right to disclose Personally Identifiable Information... to assist government enforcement agencies." They point out that this is in addition to when a warrant is issued.

Koum founded the Jews For Entrepreneurship (JFE) Network in November 2009. Their 'About Us' page states, in part,

"JFE (Jews For Entrepreneurship) Network is a non profit 5013 organization. It the leading networking platform for accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in the Jewish entrepreneur community. Since its founding in November 2009, JFE has been the only Jewish organization that provides valuable support and services for the Jewish professional and entrepreneurial community in the Bay Area..."

WhatsApp not only forbids illegal behavior, which is reasonable, but they also forbid "hateful, offensive or inappropriate" speech, which of course is discretionary and to be determined by those who 'fled hate and antisemitism'.

WhatsApp notes that users must "further agree that you will not submit material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate...":

"We may collect and release Personally Identifiable Information and/or non-personally-identifiable information if required to do so by law, or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with state and federal laws (such as U.S. Copyright Law), international law or respond to a court order, subpoena, or search warrant or equivalent, or where in our reasonable belief, an individual's physical safety may be at risk or threatened. WhatsApp also reserves the right to disclose Personally Identifiable Information and/or non-personally-identifiable information that WhatsApp believes, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to enforce our Terms of Service, take precautions against liability, to investigate and defend itself against any third-party claims or allegations, to assist government enforcement agencies, to protect the security or integrity of the WhatsApp Site or our servers, and to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of WhatsApp, our users or others."

In the interview, Koum says they "don't collect personal information; We don't know where you live, we don't know your address."

(How would they help cops serve a warrant if they don't know your address??)

Koum adds they they "don't store it on the server." He adds "for us the product and the user experience is important " and that "for us, knowing as little as possible about the user and what they do on our network." However, their own terms of use states the complete opposite!

"Log File Information: When you use the WhatsApp Site,our servers automatically record certain information that your web browser sends whenever you visit any website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol ("IP") address, browser type, browser language, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform type, number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed and the order of those pages, the amount of time spent on particular pages, the date and time of your request, one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser, your phone number, phone number you are requesting the status of and various status information. When you use the WhatsApp Service, our servers log certain general information that our application sends whenever a message is sent or received, or if you update or request any status information, including time and date stamps and the mobile phone numbers the messages were sent from and to."

This is quite a stretch particularly for a guy who claims "Neither of us has an ability to bullshit," referring to him and his partner, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.

Koum says the company, with 50 employees, processes 50 billion messages a day and that there is "encryption in place between the phone and the server." Asked about advertising, Koum says it "would be a very wrong thing to do putting advertising in the way of something you use to communicate... we just want to focus on messaging.. simplicy and utility of the product is really what drives us." However, he ads "some day in the future welll focus on monetization.. monetization is something we'll look at in 2016, 2018, 2020."

So all that data which they are collecting may some day be put to good use. As Koum notes, "someday very soon everybody will have a Smartphone."


WhatsApp's Privacy Notice, which was last modified July 7th, 2012 warns about annoying users: "WhatsApp may also terminate a user's access to the Service, if they are determined to be a repeat infringer, or for any or no reason, including being annoying... An annoying person is anyone who is (capriciously or not) determined to be annoying by authorized WhatsApp employees, agents, subagents, superagents or superheros."

The company is based at 3561 Homestead Road, #416, Santa Clara, CA 95010-5161 and users must "agree to subject to the jurisdiction of California in the event of any legal dispute."

Users data has also been transfered to Facebook, as their page explains "In the Event of Merger, Sale, or Bankruptcy we reserve the right to transfer or assign the information we have collected from our users as part of such merger, acquisition, sale, or other change of control."

Despite heavily marketing their company as an internationally friendly entity, they note that they are based in the United States and users must agree "that you are not located in a country that is subject to a U.S. Government embargo, or that has been designated by the U.S. Government as a "terrorist-supporting" country, and that you are not listed on any U.S. Government list of prohibited or restricted parties."

They conclude "Hopefully we improve the WhatsApp Site and Service and don't make it suck worse."

Explaining the product name, WhatsApp notes "WhatsApp Inc. is an early stage technology startup founded in the heart of Silicon Valley. What does the name mean you ask? Well, WhatsApp is a pun on What's Up in case you didn't get it yet :)"

Koum his partner were featured in a plethora of Jewish newspapers over the weekend after selling his company, which has 450 million users, for $19 Billion dollars to Facebook.

Reuters reported that facebook CEO Mark appearing at the 'Mobile World Congress' tonight and that "WhatsApp, which Zuckerberg has promised will remain independent, fits Facebook's recent approach of designing or buying "spinoff" apps for smartphones, such as Instagram or the Paper news app, which has earned positive reviews."

Here is a video where I show you the WhatsApp terms on my phone.

To post this article on Facebook, use this link:

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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