Facebook Alledged Of Helping Child Predators By Governments
Dhir Acharya - Oct 04, 2019
A letter was signed and sent from government officials in the US, UK, and Australia to Facebook about the matter.
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Australia, UK, and US government officials want Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to pause the social network’s pivot to privacy with arguments that full encryption on Messenger and other services would block the police from solving cases related to child exploitation.
They laid out these concerns in a letter sent the Zuckerberg and they will present them to the Lawful Access Summit of the Department of Justice in the US today. The summit will echo the view that the governments of the UK, Australia, and the US have long held on encryption, calling on tech firms to let them access data to support law enforcement.
Signing in the letter were Peter Dutton (Australia’s Minister of Home Affairs), Priti Patel (UK Home Secretary), Kevin McAleenan (acting Secretary of Homeland Security), and General William Barr (US Attorney).
The letter reads, “We are writing to request that Facebook does not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety and without including a means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens.”
Apple in 2016 refused to create a backdoor key to unlock an encrypted iPhone of a terrorist for the FBI’s investigation. And Facebook will now go against governments on encryption.
Facebook stated that “End-to-end encryption already protects the messages of over a billion people every day. It is increasingly used across the communications industry and in many other important sectors of the economy. We strongly oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere.”
Officials from law enforcement argued that encryption helps child predators hide behind the security protocol. The letter said that last year, the social network reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children of the US about 16.8 million cases. If it encrypted Messenger as well as its other messaging platforms, it couldn’t provide critical evidence to solve those cases, according to government officials.
“Real children and real homes all across the country and across the world have been rescued as a result of that ability. That goes dark. We don't see that anymore. Those children go unrescued if that changes,” said a government official from the US on Thursday.
The social giant said that it is taking precautions with its plans in encryption to keep on protecting its users. Facebook stated that it is consulting tech firms, governments, and child safety experts while building software and teams to secure users’ safety.
Meanwhile, government officials said that they are not trying to “demonize” the tech giant, they noted that Facebook had been extremely cooperative before by providing evidence for millions of child exploitation cases.
“There are very significant concerns that law enforcement officials have if Facebook were to end-to-end encrypt all of its platforms,” said a US government official.