US, UK and Australia request Facebook to introduce encryption backdoor

In a letter sent to Mark Zuckeberg, CEO of Facebook, high level representatives of the UK, US and Australia have called on Facebook not to proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services (in particular the Facebook Messenger) unless it includes a means for lawful access to the content of communications. The letter, signed by the UK Secretary of State for the Home Department Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, US Attorney General William P. Barr, US Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan, and the Australian Minister for Home Affairs Hon Peter Dutton MP, call for companies not to deliberately design systems to preclude any form of access to content, which prevents law enforcement authorities to investigate crime, in particular child exploitation and grooming and combating terrorism. Specifically, the signatories call on Facebook and other companies to embed the safety of the public in system designs, enable law enforcement to obtain lawful access to content, consult with governments on ways to perform this, and not implement end-to-end encryption until the systems that will use it are fully tested and operational. Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: “We strongly oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere”, the Guardian reported.

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