"Although the details of the WhatsApp case Mr. Wray worked on are unclear, it is likely that the government was asking WhatsApp for a way to circumvent the messaging service’s end-to-end encryption technology, said Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
These requests are typically done in secret because they are made as part of a continuing criminal investigation. Only a handful of such requests have been publicly disclosed which, Ms. Granick said, is problematic because it means that legal requests to undermine end-to-end encryption are being done without the public’s knowledge.
“This shows why we need to have these things unsealed,” Ms. Granick said. “Not knowing what these adjudications are, not knowing what the law is, not knowing why people win and why people lose is really bad for the public,” she said."