When it comes to user privacy, Facebook’s reputation isn’t exactly sterling. That’s why the company has taken steps to protect people’s data — particularly through encryption. However, the fight over Facebook’s plan to encrypt its messaging escalated late last week, with FBI Director Christopher Wray saying the tech could be used to shelter child pornographers. However, privacy advocates insist that messaging encryption still offers more positives than negatives.
“Facebook would transform from the main provider of child exploitation tips to a dream come true for predators and child pornographers: a platform that allows them to find and connect with kids and like-minded criminals with little fear of consequences,” Wray said.
However, in a rare turn of events, more than 50 civil liberty groups came to Facebook’s defense, urging the social media giant to continue moving forward with encryption.
“Given the remarkable reach of Facebook’s messaging services, ensuring default end-to-end security will provide a substantial boon to worldwide communications freedom, to public safety, and to democratic values,” the groups wrote. “We encourage you to resist calls to create so-called ‘backdoors’ or ‘exceptional access’ to the content of users’ messages, which will fundamentally weaken encryption and the privacy and security of all users.”
No matter which side you agree with, it’s worth appreciating that the same advocacy groups that often criticize Facebook are actually rooting for it here. It goes to show just how serious this issue really is that these experts have chosen to back the site.
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