The United Kingdom (UK) is urging Meta to not roll out end-to-end encryption on Instagram and Messenger, according to a report by Reuters. The report suggests that Meta, which already provides end-to-end encryption on its messaging platform WhatsApp plans to extend this feature across Messenger and Instagram direct messages, saying the technology re-enforced safety and security. British interior minister Suella Braverman has spoken up about Meta’s plans saying that it should keep safeguards when rolling out end-to-end encryption (e2ee) on Facebook and Instagram. Some context: The UK has recently passed its Online Safety Bill, which holds platforms responsible for ensuring that child sexual abuse material, or CSAM, is not being transmitted through their service. Further, under Clause 122 of this bill, the Office of Communications (OfCom, the UK’s communications regulator) can issue notices to providers of messaging services, requiring them to develop and deploy software that will scan phones for prohibited content. In April this year, WhatsApp and other e2ee platforms wrote an open letter stating that the Online Safety Bill (which was still in the draft stage at the time) could break encryption, opening the door to routine, general, and indiscriminate surveillance of personal messages which would fundamentally undermine everyone’s ability to communicate securely. While the government has since clarified that it has no intention to break encryption, according to a blog post released by The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, digital rights non-profit), the bill continues to allow the government to force companies to build technology that can scan…
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