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Meta In The Hot Seat Again As Its Decision To Introduce End-End Encryption Faces Great Opposition

Facebook’s parent company Meta might be on its way toward another political battle after its decision to introduce E2EE for its Messenger chat app is facing plenty of opposition.

The latest comes from a UK-based politician who isn’t happy with the news. And recently, we saw the country’s home secretary reveal her thoughts on the matter via an article published in The Telegraph recently.

She renamed the move a huge betrayal if they failed to acknowledge the great dangers to children’s safety while making the same decision for E2EE. But if you think this matter is only a concern of the UK, well, think again. There are similar chats on issues that the US is having in this regard.

For a while now, we’ve been seeing Meta work hard on introducing end-end encryption. To be more exact, it’s been years and many are calling it a long time coming.

But finally, the firm confirmed how it was going to be introducing it to all of its chats on the app through default means. So we could well be seeing it launched as early as next year.

The only other huge platform that it’s introduced something as similar as this is WhatsApp.

Now, we’re seeing arguments and debates surrounding the decision that dates back ages ago from the world of politics. Many aren’t convinced that they’ve quite mastered the balance situated between privacy as well as safety.

The matter is further heightened with claims that law enforcement officers are going to issue arrest warrants for such chats belonging to users, in situations where new laws for abortions would be introduced. This is obviously after the overruling of Roe v. Wade in the US.

The United Kingdom’s perspective is that encryption of chats would end up harming the welfare linked to kids. There is a greater risk of material pertaining to child sexual abuse circulating without any check and balance on the matter.

As it is, they’ve argued how so many reports continually speak about child predators using similar platforms to find, explore, and target such individuals.

For this reason, the UK home secretary wants Meta to rethink the move and give the police access to sensitive data to help recover such kids and prevent their predators from passing on their images.

There is also plenty of discussion about a method called client-side scanning that tech giant Apple wished to introduce in the past but faced a huge amount of criticism for doing so. Therefore, it removed the idea as a whole.

The method is all about comparing images and videos across users’ phones to a specific list entailing banned content. Meanwhile, those in favor argue that this could be better enhanced by enabling surveillance across particular devices.

Clearly, the UK’s government is not willing to allow Meta’s decision to pull through without a few changes. But we are not sure how far such demands will go.

There were some talks about the UK’s Parliament passing a bill that would officially declare the country as the safest place online in the world with its Online Safety Bill. As of now, that’s on hold, most likely on a permanent basis.

That might have to do with Boris Johnson’s resignation that came abruptly.

As of now, the government might not be as headstrong and clear with its viewpoints as we’d like them to be. They’re still battling out a lot of personal matters, let alone the issue of encryption.

For now, the issue of message encryption in the UK is taking place and that puts Meta in an awkward position, to say the least.


Photo: Nathan Frandino / REUTERS

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