The National Coalition Against Censorship has joined more than 100 signatories, led by the Center for Democracy and Technology, to urge Facebook to resist government pressure to end its use of end-to-end security encryption. Facebook has been increasing its use of end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging platforms. It is already offered on Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp. The statement’s signatories represent civil liberties, technology and free expression groups.

Requests have come from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australian governments asking that the company suspend these plans “until [Facebook] can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce public safety”.

The statement maintains that this is backwards: each day that platforms do not support strong end-to-end security is another day that this data can be breached, mishandled, or otherwise obtained by powerful entities or rogue actors to exploit it.

Given the remarkable reach of Facebook’s messaging services, ensuring default end-to-end security will provide a substantial boon to worldwide communications freedom, to public safety, and to democratic values. NCAC urges Facebook to proceed with plans to encrypt messaging through Facebook products and services and to resist calls to create so-called “backdoors” or “exceptional access” to the content of users’ messages, which will fundamentally weaken encryption and the privacy and security of all users.

The full statement can be read here.



Photo by Christoph Scholz via Flickr