Facebook is delaying the introduction of default message encryption in Messenger and Instagram

Meta, a company owned by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has postponed plans to encrypt users’ messages by 2023 due to a warning that the default encryption will protect bullies and prevent their disclosure, he said.e The Guardian.

With the goal of creating a unique messaging system on all its platforms, the company merged Messenger and Instagram chat last year. And while messages sent via Messenger and Instagram can be end-to-end encrypted (end-to-end encryption, E2EE), that option is not included by default and probably won’t be until 2023. WhatsApp already has a default E2EE.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company was under pressure to give up its encryption plans, which the Minister of the Interior of the United Kingdom, Priti Patel, described as “simply unacceptable”, according to the Guardian. She says E2EE could make it harder to prevent child abuse online: “Unfortunately, at a time when we need to take more action, Facebook is still implementing plans for E2EE that put the good work and progress that has already been made at risk.”

The UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says private messages are a place of sexual abuse of children online. Encryption of communications prevents the police and technology companies from seeing messages whose content only the sender and recipient can see – a process known as end-to-end encryption.

Meta is already using the default end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp and planned to extend it to its Messenger and Instagram 2022 apps. Voice messages and video calls on Messenger are already encrypted.

Announcing the encryption of messages in 2019, Zuckerberg said: “People expect that their private communication will be secure and that only people to whom they sent messages will see it, not hackers, criminals, governments, and even people who manage the services they use. ”

Meta Security Director Antigone Davis explained the delay in the default E2EE concern for user safety.

In April this year, Meta said that the default E2EE will be on Instagram and Messenger “at the earliest in 2022”. But Davis now says Meta wants to do this properly, so the company plans to postpone this function until 2023.

“We need time to correct this and we do not plan to complete the global introduction of default end-to-end encryption in all our messaging services by sometime in 2023,” Davis wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. “As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we are committed to protecting people’s private communication and protecting people online.”

Since E2EE means that only the sender and recipient see the messages, Davis says Meta wants to ensure that this does not interfere with the platform’s ability to help stop criminal activity. Davis says that once E2EE becomes available by default, the company will “use a combination of unencrypted data in applications, account information and user reports” to protect them. A similar approach has already enabled WhatsApp to report to the authorities. Davis said that they analyzed some earlier cases and it turned out that the company could still provide important information to the authorities, even if the communication in its applications was encrypted.

The target application is used by 2.8 billion people every day. In 2020, more than 21 million cases of sexual abuse of children were reported on its platforms to the American National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. More than 20 million of those reports were from Facebook.

The head of the NSPCC for Internet safety policy for children, Andy Burroughs, welcomed Meta’s move. “Facebook is right not to continue with end-to-end encryption until it has an appropriate plan to prevent child abuse from going unnoticed on its platforms,” ​​he said. “But they should continue with these measures only when they can show that they have the technology to ensure that children are not at greater risk of abuse.”

Last year, The United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan have invited technology companies to provide local authorities with access to encrypted conversations when they have a court order to do so.

Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.

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