In recent years, end-to-end encryption across digital platforms has become increasingly popular. But for regulators, this has also caused great trouble for their investigation and evidence collection and enforcement actions. Recently, the US, UK, and Australian governments signed an open letter asking Facebook to stop implementing end-to-end encryption on all its platforms and directed the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
It is reported that this open letter comes from US Attorney General William Barr, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton calling on Facebook to “not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services“.
The three governments still support strong encryption measures as they recognize the need to use encryption technology in processing services such as banking and commerce. At the same time, they also pointed out the drawbacks of end-to-end encrypted communication, specifically stating end-to-end encryption would hinder law enforcement practices and make the platform an unsafe space, particularly for children.
“Companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content, even for preventing or investigating the most serious crimes,” the letter says. “This puts our citizens and societies at risk by severely eroding a company’s ability to detect and respond to illegal content and activity, such as child sexual exploitation and abuse …”