Facebook asked to restore plans for encryption

Facebook has been asked by the UK and other governments to restore plans to bring end-to-end encryption to all of its platforms.

Facebook defended itself and responded saying that everyone has the right to a private conversation. Ever since online interaction developed globally into a huge industry, privacy and safety has been a continuous conflict for technology companies and governments.

In 2018 Facebook sent 12 million reports of child abuse to the US’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If encryption is implemented across Facebook’s platforms they will no longer be able to report on these incidents.

End-to-end encryption allows users to send messages where only those communicating can read the messages. Technically this stops companies such as internet providers and even communication service providers from accessing the keys required to decrypt the conversation.

WhatsApp and Telegram are some examples of chat networks that use end-to-end encryption. There are also various encrypted email providers such as ProtonMail and Hushmail.

With messaging platforms that do not use encryption, the messages often go elsewhere and are stored by a third party, before they are then reclaimed by the receiver.

Some messaging systems only encrypt the message when in transportation and they are stored decrypted by the third party. As a result of this it permits the third party company to search for content deemed illegal, but in addition to this it also allows unwanted persons to misuse and access the content being held on the third party system.

This is a huge vulnerability and therefore end-to-end encryption is much more secure as only the receiver can read it. This means that not even the owner of the platform has access.

Although an agreement has been signed between the UK and US to provide a faster process of retrieving private conversations, it’s relatively hopeless if they are unable to read the encrypted messages.

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