Facebook tells Attorney General Bill Barr that they will not allow US authorities access to encrypted messages
10:30, Wednesday, 11 December, 2019
Facebook is rebuffing efforts by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to give authorities a way to read encrypted messages.
The heads of Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger services told Barr and his U.K. and Australian counterparts that Facebook is moving forward with plans to enable end-to-end encryption on all of its messaging services. End-to-end encryption locks up messages so that not even Facebook can read their contents.
WhatsApp already uses end-to-end encryption. Facebook plans to extend that protection to Messenger and Instagram Direct.
Barr and other officials had asked the company in October to hold off. In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, they insisted that precluding access by law enforcement could hinder efforts to prevent or investigate crimes. The letter repeatedly emphasized the dangers of child sexual exploitation to justify their stance.