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Attorney General Bill Barr Will Ask Facebook to Halt Plans for End-to-End Encryption Across Facebook’s Apps

BuzzFeed News has an advance copy of an open letter from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

We therefore call on Facebook and other companies to take the following steps:

· Embed the safety of the public in system designs, thereby enabling you to continue to act against illegal content effectively with no reduction to safety, and facilitating the prosecution of offenders and safeguarding of victims;

· Enable law enforcement to obtain lawful access to content in a readable and usable format;

· Engage in consultation with governments to facilitate this in a way that is substantive and genuinely influences your design decisions;

They don’t use the word “backdoor” but that’s what they’re asking for. End-to-end encryption doesn’t allow for backdoors. So what they’re really asking is for Facebook not to use end-to-end encryption. And the only truly secure, truly private encryption for personal communication is end-to-end encryption. So, when you boil it all down and ignore the emotional pleas that would have you believe this is all about protecting children, what they’re really asking is for Facebook not to safeguard the security and privacy of the messaging of billions of people around the world.

For once, count me on the side of Facebook.

Thursday, 3 October 2019