Law Enforcement Official Blasts Facebook Encryption For Enabling Child Abuse

When Facebook announced its plans to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging platforms, many privacy advocates hailed the move as a step in the right direction. However, law enforcement officials around the world also sounded the alarm that the technology could provide cover to criminals, notably child abusers, who use Facebook. Despite this criticism, the social media giant is still pressing forward with its encryption plans, but that hasn’t stopped officials from imploring Facebook to reconsider. This week, one prominent British leader argued that private companies like Facebook should not be responsible for deciding such vital matters of privacy and security.

In remarks given at a conference, the head of Britain’s National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar, said that while he supports encryption, it’s being rolled out by Facebook in a “blunt and increasingly widespread” manner without proper protections baked in.

“If Facebook roll out end-to-end encryption, their ability to spot child sexual abuse will significantly reduce, as will the number of children we save from sexual abuse and the number of criminals we arrest on the back of their information,” Biggar said. “Let me be clear: this would be tantamount to consciously turning a blind eye to child abuse — choosing to look the other way.”

Biggar went on to say he believes this doesn’t have to be a binary choice, and privacy can co-exist with security. However,  Facebook seems far from meeting the demands of officials like him, and encryption will be globally available soon whether it’s ready or not.

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