Facebook Messenger: The battle over end-to-end encryption

in messenger •  4 months ago 

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The UK government and a coalition of NGOs are urging the British public not to allow Facebook to provide end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in its messenger service.

The campaign claims that if Facebook releases an ultra-secure messaging system, more children will be at risk from online predators.

The public debate is intense as privacy campaigners and technology companies argue that systems are needed to protect personal privacy and data security.

And as many governments are also interested in stopping the spread of end-to-end encryption in its current form, this struggle is being closely watched around the world.

Over the years, the technology has been criticized by authorities and law enforcement agencies such as Interpol in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, India, and Japan, and the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK.

Meanwhile, billions of people have adopted end-to-end encryption using services such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and Signal.

On social media, the UK Home Office tweeted a video showing a message to a missing child behind encryption from a predator.

What is end-to-end encryption?

Encryption is a method of scrambling to make data unreadable.

We use some kind of encryption technology online every day, without really considering it.

For example, a small padlock at the top of your Internet browser encrypts information you send and receive from BBC website servers. This means that anyone who intercepts data cannot read it.

This is especially important for sensitive online services such as internet banking or email.

The secret code between the website or app and our devices is accepted.

Before we send any information to the web service via the internet, it will be encrypted.

And once it reaches the company we are communicating with, it will be decrypted in a readable form with an accepted secret code.

This type of encryption is welcomed by all because it protects our data from hackers or criminals while traveling on the Internet.

But companies that process data can read it, so security services or the police can ask the company to provide any messages or information stored.

It is a daily part of police gathering evidence around the world, helping them arrest and punish criminals.

End-to-end encryption is a step forward.

The code accepted by the sender and receiver is so confidential that it is not even known to the company that manages our data.

Only end-users can decrypt messages, pictures, or phone calls.

Imagine that you want to receive a letter that only you can read in the post.

You can only send the box to those whose keys you have. They put their letter in it and it locks when they close it. They will then send it to you to open with your special key.

The digital version of the locked box is called the "public key", while your private key is your "private key".

People who focus on privacy like this system because data is secure from all. The messaging company will not even decrypt the data you send.


But even if the authorities suspect criminal activity, they do not like it because there is no way to read the messages, view the pictures or listen to the calls.

The UK campaign focuses on the potential dangers to children.

A spokesman for the No Place to Hide campaign said the release of end-to-end encryption was "like turning off the lights on the ability to identify child *** abusers online".
According to campaigners, police could not read any messages sent to children by poachers on Facebook Messenger.

"We call on social media platforms for a public commitment to implement end-to-end encryption only when we have the technology to ensure child safety," a spokesman said. ,

According to the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there will be 21.7 million reports of child abuse in the US by 2020, exchanging on social media.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

They want to work with technology companies to find solutions that protect children and privacy.

In November, following pressure from child protection groups, parent company Meta delayed plans to develop end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram direct messages until 2023.

Antigone Davis, Meta's global head of security, said at the time: "As a company that connects billions of people around the world and creates industry-leading technology, we are committed to protecting public-private communications and keeping people online. We are determined to keep it safe."

The company describes measures taken to protect children, such as using machine learning to detect abnormal patterns of messaging behavior and allowing users under the age of 18 to default to private or "friends only" accounts. Includes keeping.

Since the discussion began, in 2017, governments and NGOs have called for security services to come up with a technology solution that allows them to read end-to-end encrypted messages.

But many cybersecurity experts say it is impossible to create a security loophole or a "back door" without undermining the basics of technology.

Customers should rely on security services to avoid abusing the secret back-door key.

This is especially true in countries where people only have end-to-end encryption to communicate securely or without censorship.

And if the UK government can persuade Meta to invent some kind of new system, it will undoubtedly spread to other end-to-end apps used by billions around the world.

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