U.K. Home Secretary launches campaign against Meta’s encryption plans

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United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman has unveiled a new campaign aimed at Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

Braverman’s campaign centers on Meta’s plan to introduce end-to-end encryption (E2EE) across its messaging platforms. While Meta aims to finalize this encryption rollout by year-end, the British government is concerned about its implications for child safety.

According to data from the Home Office, approximately 800 predators are apprehended each month, and up to 1,200 children are shielded from sexual abuse due to information shared by social media platforms. Should Meta proceed with its encryption plans, the National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates that 92% of Messenger and 85% of Instagram direct referrals could vanish.

In response to these risks, Braverman is urging Meta to implement “robust safety measures” to safeguard minors or, in the gravest scenario, halt the encryption rollout altogether. “The use of strong encryption is pivotal for online users in our digital age, and the government supports it. However, it must not jeopardize the safety of our children,” Braverman said in a statement.

Meta, anticipating government scrutiny, recently released an updated safety policy for its messaging platforms. The company emphasizes its commitment to working with law enforcement, online safety experts, and human rights advocates. Despite these efforts, Meta remains steadfast in its dedication to delivering E2EE as a standard feature for Messenger and Instagram.

The sources for this piece include an article on TheNextWeb.

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