DHS and DOJ Sign Letter to Facebook Regarding Use of End-to-End Encryption


Group of friends in the street with smartphone

Group of friends in the street with smartphone

WASHINGTON, DC — The Department of Justice is asking Facebook not to proceed with its widely publicized plans to implement an end-to-end encryption plan.

Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan and international law enforcement partners from the United Kingdom and Australia signed the open letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook’s proposals would put at risk its own vital work that keeps children safe,” according to a DHS statement.

End-to-end encryption allows only the message’s sender and receiver to decrypt it, leaving service providers unable to produce readable content in response to wiretap orders and search warrants.

DHS estimates of the 16.8 million reports of child sexual exploitation and abuse Facebook filed with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2018, 12 million of would be lost if the company pursues it’s plan for end-to-end encryption.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the social network, “people increasingly … want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms.”

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