According to a report, Facebook, in a letter has informed US Attorney General William Barr during a senate judiciary hearing, that it will not remove the end to end encryption provided for the user privacy and security.
It won’t provide any backdoor access to the law enforcement agencies, the letter stated.
Why the end to end encryption was applied in the first place?
Facebook, in the past has been criticized by US regulatory authorities themselves for not abiding the regulation and violating the user privacy policies.
During a Senate hearing which was attended by the Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg himself, he was repreditely asked if Facebook was collecting some kind of data. It was even implied that Facebook was reading the private messages of its users.
The platform with billions of users was found to have ties with some huge scandals, such as certain political groups in India as well as Russian web brigades (Russian troll farm).
It was also involved with Cambridge Analytica date scandal, early 2018, where the company has harvested the date of millions of Facebook users without consent and used it for political advertising.
To overcome the past mistakes, earlier this year, Facebook introduced and applied end to end encryption to all the messenger platforms that include, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
The Facebook CEO even defended his decision (in October) and said it is vital to have an end to end encryption to cover users from many risks. Above all he showed concern for the risk of child exploitation and pledged to take all necessary steps.
Why regulating authorities want the backdoor access now?
Given the situation, the demand of the US justice department to remove the end to end encryption or to provide them with the backdoor access, seems quite ironic.
According to the plea the reason is given that it will be helpful for the regulatory authorities to detect illegal activities such as child trafficking and terrorism.
The plea has received support from other countries such as the UK and Australia as well.
In a letter by the US Attorney General William Barr to Facebook CEO Mark Zukerburg that the tech companies should not intentionally create their systems that can avoid the access to the user data.
In the defense of Facebook
In view of the privacy of its users, Facebook has refused to remove the encryption and the backdoor access. Facebook, Inc.
That has a huge presence with almost 2.7 billion users globally believes that people should be allowed to send and receive messages with full privacy.
The letter sent to the US senate judiciary hearing in response to the plea stated that:
The ‘backdoor’ access you are demanding for law enforcement would be a gift to criminals, hackers and repressive regimes, creating a way for them to enter our systems and leaving every person on our platforms more vulnerable to real-life harm.
People’s private messages would be less secure and the real winners would be anyone seeking to take advantage of that weakened security. That is not something we are prepared to do.