The ORG (Open Rights Group), a privacy advocacy group, has urged the government to explain whether it is considering ‘imposing a Technical Capability Notice on Facebook to circumvent end-to-end encryption’, and to detail ‘what engagement it intends to carry out’ before subjecting users’ private messages to surveillance. It says this move is predicated on the assumption that ‘we are all criminals’.
The demand follows a report by Wired last week, which claimed the Home Office was actively exploring a range of legal and technical options to force Facebook to implement a backdoor in its messaging services. Such a backdoor could give law-enforcement agencies access to the contents of messages sent using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chat services.
The ORG says that attacks by the government cannot be seen as ‘just’ targeting Facebook. Rather, the government seems to be planning to use powers introduced in the Investigatory Powers Act to curb the ability of online platforms to use encryption, especially at scale.
Facebook denied the request, stating that including such backdoors would be a gift to ‘hackers, criminals and repressive regimes’.
Full story at Open Rights Group.