I have not been able to find this answer, because most of the talk is about the content of communications, but my question is:
Can a government intelligence agency somehow see who I am communicating with over WhatsApp? So generally, I know if I message Bob, they cannot see what I sent, but can they somehow see that I have messaged Bob?
I am asking a 'general' question regarding the published security protocols of WhatsApp, whether it is known or unknown to protect that specific information. I do realize that the intelligence potential of the US government, for instance, is, but in terms of a 'general' type of surveillance, is this probable?
From a technical perspective, it sounds like the metadata is only available by warrant, so if it were a government (other than US or UK) could not produce a legitimate warrant, then would it be safe to say that that information would not be accessible to that government? Most of the conversation around this assumes the PRISM program or a legitimate warrant, but if those are missing, is that data still somehow accessible?