Should encryption be limited to combat child abuse?

05/18/2021 at 9:52 AM CEST

In 2020, the IWF received 300,000 reports and 153,000 were verified as new content from CSAM. Police say more child predators can now be found in messaging apps, rather than on the dark web. Many don’t even encrypt their web traffic. Many authorities are concerned that Facebook wants to introduce encryption end-to-end in messages sent via Messenger and Instagram Direct.

End-to-end encryption is a privacy feature that makes it impossible for anyone to except sender and recipient, read messages sent online. Authorities are concerned and say this will make it much more difficult to apprehend suspects and spot child predators. Facebook says that the use of such technology will protect the privacy of users.

But states – the United Kingdom, and Australia have repeatedly opposed to the idea since 2019, saying it will jeopardize work to combat child abuse. Australia has also required the tech industry to hand over the public encryption keys (back doors of its networks) to the authorities. The companies, both abroad and in Australia, refused.

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