Facebook and Law Enforcement at loggerheads as one wants to ensure user privacy, while the latter says that it will hamper their efforts to stop child sex abuse

Facebook has been trying to bring end-to-end encryption across all its services, including Instagram Direct Messaging service and Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp already supports end-to-end encryption, which means that no one, not even the server can find out the content or make changes in the content of messages/conversations between the sender and recipient.

While Facebook advocates this policy to be in the favor of users’ privacy, Law Enforcement Agencies see it as devastating! Experts from seven countries have expressed their concern as they fear that by making the messages super protected and secret can put a full-stop to all their efforts in trying to catch and deal with child sex abusers, pedophiles, and child traffickers, and they will no longer be able to ensure the security of children online.

The social media platforms play a crucial role in helping these agencies to learn about child abuse cases. Last year only, around 17 million reports were made through these platforms to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and amongst these reports, around 69 million images of children being abused were shared too, and most of these image reports were submitted by Facebook to the Law Enforcement agency.

The director of the National Crime Agency, Robert Jones says that right now, Facebook helps them to fight child abuse by flagging potentially harmful content and letting the agencies know about these incidents. But if Facebook continues with its encryption proposals for messages, it will be like pushing these agencies into darkness and then slamming all the doors until they lose all their insight and become helpless in dealing with the abusers.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary from Home Office wrote an open letter to Facebook last year to ask them to stop with their encryption proposals. However, Facebook ignored and did not pay any heed to that.

Now, Priti Patel has released a statement in accord with the US, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, and Japan to ask Facebook to not continue with their message encryption plans and let the law enforcement agencies do their work without making it more complicated.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel further added that they all owe to every citizen, but especially they owe a lot towards children. It is absolutely important to ensure the protection and safety of children from online terrorists, predators, and pedophiles. It is not just Facebook; all the tech companies and social media platforms must work together and not turn a blind eye towards this problem. They should not make the ability of law enforcement agencies to unmask these online predators.

To all of this, Facebook has just said that it has never failed children or abused victims before through its platform, and it will continue to protect them online in the future too through its developing and innovative ways.
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