Government Officials Ask Facebook Not to Implement End-to-End Encryption
Monday, October 07, 2019 | Comments

The Department of Justice (DOJ) published an open letter to Facebook from international law enforcement partners from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in response to the company’s publicly announced plans to implement end-to-end-encryption across its messaging services.

Addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the letter requests that Facebook not proceed with its end-to-end encryption plan without ensuring there will be no reduction in the safety of Facebook users and others, and without providing law enforcement court-authorized access to the content of communications to protect the public, particularly child users.

Facebook’s proposals would put at risk its own vital work that keeps children safe, the DOJ said. In 2018, Facebook made 16.8 million reports of child sexual exploitation and abuse content to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), 12 million of which are estimated to be lost if the company pursues its plan to implement end-to-end encryption.

Use of end-to-end encryption, which allows messages to be decrypted only by users, leaves service providers unable to produce readable content in response to wiretap orders and search warrants. This barrier allows criminals to avoid apprehension by law enforcement by limiting access to crucial evidence in the form of encrypted digital communications. The use of end-to-end encryption and other highly sophisticated encryption technologies significantly hinders, or entirely prevents serious criminal and national security investigations, the letter said.

Many service providers, device manufacturers and application developers that use encryption fail to implement technology that would allow the government to obtain electronic evidence necessary to investigate and prosecute threats to public safety and national security. Law enforcement believes it is crucial for technology companies to include lawful access mechanisms in the design of their products or services. The Department of Justice said it is committed to developing a coherent national and international policy that encourages responsible encryption, enhances public safety, and protects privacy and cybersecurity.

The letter is signed by U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel, Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton and U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan.

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Comments
On 10/10/19, Leon van der Linde said:
I know it is maybe not the right thing but why the heck does the government need to prowl inside my private life? I do not want them to listen to my private conversations. Private is private, not public. It is exactly what the book and movie 1984 are all about.


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