The Justice Department has renewed its fight with Facebook over the need to acquire access to encrypted communications, resorting their attempt to the fear of probable breach of national security, AFP reported on Thursday, October 3rd.
Those leading the fight against the Facebook CEO are US Attorney General William Barr, British Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton.
"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," read a copy of the letter obtained by AFP and dated October 4th.
US officials became concerned with how an end-to-end encrypted messages could jeopardise the country's’ security situation. They perceive it as a vital crime-fighting tool, even as technology companies and advocates have countered that it will threaten individual privacy.
They then requested Facebook make all communications unencrypted for them to be able to protect people from outside threats.
According to the Telegraph, former FBI Director James Comey prioritised the need for law enforcement to find a way to crack encrypted devices and communications. He then led a highly publicised push to gain access to an iPhone belonging to one perpetrator of a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California that killed 14 people in 2014
Meanwhile, Facebook continues with its plan of protecting their users’ privacy, disregarding talks about the possibility of making messaging systems not so well-encrypted so that law enforcement could access content if such needs arose.
Meanwhile, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the rise of a new conflict between technology firms intent on protecting user privacy by scrambling messages with encryption and government agencies contending that doing so would let evil-doers hide their schemes.
The end-to-end encryption has been applied on different social media platforms, much like WhatsApp messages, which means only the sender and recipient can read the message. It has been proved that such a tool is necessary for maintaining an individual’s privacy.
Members of Facebook’s safety team believe that due to the seriousness of child exploitation risks, encryption plays a vital role in protecting a child’s rights against any exploitation, according to Reuters.