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Mission Impossible: 7 Countries Tell Facebook To Break Encryption


steven36
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This article has been updated with a comment from Facebook.

 

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The governments of seven countries are calling on Facebook and other tech firms to do the technically impossible - to weaken encryption by giving law enforcement access to messages, whilst not reducing user safety.

 

The governments of the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan have issued the joint statement which pleads with Facebook specifically, as well as other tech firms, to drop “end-to-end encryption policies which erode the public’s safety online”.

 

The governments once again raise the issue of child abusers and terrorists using encrypted services such as WhatsApp to send messages without fear of content being intercepted.

 

“We owe it to all of our citizens, especially our children, to ensure their safety by continuing to unmask sexual predators and terrorists operating online,” the U.K.’s home secretary, Priti Patel, said in a statement.

 

“It is essential that tech companies do not turn a blind eye to this problem and hamper their, as well as law enforcement’s, ability to tackle these sickening criminal acts. Our countries urge all tech companies to work with us to find a solution that puts the public’s safety first.”

 

Encryption muddle

Once again, the politicians seem unable to grasp one of the fundamental concepts of end-to-end encryption - that putting back doors into the encryption algorithms that allow security services to intercept messages effectively breaks the encryption.

 

According to the U.K. government’s statement, the “seven signatories of the international statement have made it clear that when end-to-end encryption is applied with no access to content, it severely undermines the ability of companies to take action against illegal activity on their own platforms”.

 

Yet, end-to-encryption with the ability for third parties to intercept content is not end-to-end encryption in any meaningful sense. Worse, by introducing back doors to allow security services to access content, it would compromise the entire encryption system.

 

Nevertheless, the “international intervention calls on tech companies to ensure there is no reduction in user safety when designing their encrypted services; to enable law enforcement access to content where it is necessary and proportionate; and work with governments to facilitate this.”

 

As has been pointed out to the governments many times before, what they are asking for is technically impossible. An open letter sent to several of the signatory countries by a coalition of international civil rights groups in 2019 made this very point.

 

“Proponents of exceptional access have argued that it is possible to build backdoors into encrypted consumer products that somehow let ‘good actors’ gain surreptitious access to encrypted communications, while simultaneously stopping ‘bad actors’ from intercepting those same communications,” the letter stated. “This technology does not exist.

 

“To the contrary, technology companies could not give governments backdoor access to encrypted communications without also weakening the security of critical infrastructure, and the devices and services upon which the national security and intelligence communities themselves rely.”

 

“Critical infrastructure runs on consumer products and services, and is protected by the same encryption that is used in the consumer products that proponents of backdoor access seek to undermine,” the letter adds.

 

In response to the statement from the seven nations, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We've long argued that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people's most private information. In all of these countries, people prefer end-to-end encrypted messaging on various apps because it keeps their messages safe from hackers, criminals, and foreign interference. Facebook has led the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect, and respond to abuse while maintaining high security and we will continue to do so.

 

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If it can be proved that Facebook or any other tech company produced software that allowed individuals to harm children, then I don't have a problem with charging Zuckerberg or anyone else with the crime of child abuse, pornography, or murder as an accessory or by accountability.  It's the greater good.

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7 hours ago, straycat19 said:

If it can be proved that Facebook or any other tech company produced software that allowed individuals to harm children, then I don't have a problem with charging Zuckerberg or anyone else with the crime of child abuse, pornography, or murder as an accessory or by accountability.  It's the greater good.

 

 Bit of a stretch IMO.

 

Just about anything can be used for 'bad' things.  For example, the postal service can be used for the sending of drugs, child exploitation materials, bombs, blackmail and extortion demands, etc... Should we charge those who run it for those crimes?

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Quote

As has been pointed out to the governments many times before, what they are asking for is technically impossible. An open letter sent to several of the signatory countries by a coalition of international civil rights groups in 2019 made this very point.

The 'open letter' is less than a year old. Shall those who signed the joint statement against end-to-end encryption be reminded about it?

In case, for those who missed the link from the article:

https://www.openrightsgroup.org/app/uploads/2020/03/Coalition_Response_Letter_-_Encryption_DOJ_event_and_letter_to_Facebook.pdf.

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6 hours ago, Karlston said:

Just about anything can be used for 'bad' things.  For example, the postal service can be used for the sending of drugs, child exploitation materials, bombs, blackmail and extortion demands, etc... Should we charge those who run it for those crimes?

Bro , hes just being delusional  no  CEO   is going to jail  for that ,  That not why  the FBI  been pushing  for a backdoor  . They want to use it  to make there job easier  like it was before Edward Snowden  and the rise of encryption . They will use the backdoor  to  catch  sex predators  and terrorist.  

 

The thing  is since  the internet  is not regulated by governments  they was  allowed  to make such apps that hide criminals, If it were  like everything  else that already is regulated  they  would  of  never been allowed  to make such  apps   . It would of  been illegal  . That the downside  of becoming  Rich , Powerful , Famous and Popular on  something  that  not regulated you become a target of governments  and  people  who commit crimes  .  If they had a set of rules they had to follow  no  one would be going to jail  that worked in Tech . They would  just follow them , a example  this would be the cloud act .

 

They already  have rules  in place to regulate Big Tech's  data  now they  want access to the encrypted  data as well , The downside  is if you backdoor it then criminals will  gain access but they  already are exploiting these apps   with malware  and spam  .Just like the governments  is   they use bots to spread info be it factual or propaganda.  WhatsApp  has made the news for spreading  fake news  quite a bit  .

 

Encrypted data is the only thing Big Tech have left  the Government  don't have access too ,   Smart Ones like Google and Microsoft  dont get involved because Microsoft  had there court date and had to drop  the case because they made laws they have to follow, so they lost . They control everything they do even who they can sell there products  too and more regulation for them is on the way.

 

The only thing i dont like about it with  goverment  regulation comes  abuse of there powers,  but  you  could not pay me  to install  this closed sourced  crapware that BIG Tech bought .It  just like everything else they touch  it will turn to shit  . If it's not  spyware to start off with it most likely  will be because government  have laws that allow them to access there data and there surveillance capitalist  that profit from spying on you. 

 

Big Tech are the very same  group  that helped  the NSA with Prism  and still  in bed with the Government  and law enforcement.  When Snowden  blew there  cover  they had  to do something big to save face . So Tech  like Apple  and Facebook used cross psychology capitalism and made  apps  that  gave  you  a fasle sense of privacy on the centralized internet  . And  gullible masses billions of people  took the bait.   

 

But due  to who they  are in reality  surveillance capitalist it keeps blowing up in there face. You can not serve  two masters ,you will hate one and love the other. You  can't  by a spy for profit  and  a privacy  activist at the same time. But  you can brain wash people into thinking you have there best interest at heart .:tooth:

Edited by steven36
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