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Police support Government calls on Facebook to pause encryption efforts

04 Oct 2019

Police support Government calls on Facebook to pause encryption efforts: New Project (1)

Last night (Thursday 3 October) the Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement that will enable British law enforcement to directly ask for electronic data relating to serious criminals from US tech firms rather than through governments.

The Home Secretary has also published an open letter to Facebook, co-signed with US Attorney General William P. Barr,  Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, outlining serious concerns with the company’s plans to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services.

Responding to this the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, said:

“Technology advances have given criminals easy ways to target and groom children and vulnerable people online and so quick access to their communications is vital.

“This evidence can help us secure prosecutions but more importantly, find victims and end their exploitation. I welcome this agreement as will law enforcement colleagues around the country.

“In respect of Facebook if their current policy for end-to-end encryption is implemented they will knowingly put the safety of children at risk. They have so far provided no reassurance that this change will not impede law enforcement and our ability to target offenders and safeguard children. They have a moral responsibility to ensure this does not happen.”