Facebook & WhatsApp To Be Forced To Share Encrypted Texts With The Police

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Western governments have been probing at how they can intercept with encrypted messaging and it seems the UK will become one of the first countries forcing social media platforms to reveal messages to the police.

In a treaty expected to be signed next month between the US and the UK, social media platforms will be mandated to share information “assisting investigations into individuals suspected of serious criminal offences such as terrorism and paedophilia.”

This might mean the end-to-end encryption on platforms such as WhatsApp will have to be revised since at this point in time even Facebook is unable to access those messages due to the encryption method ensuring that only a sender and recipient have access to a conversation.

The whole debate is made difficult by the fact that finding a balance between privacy and security has proven nigh on impossible. If end-to-end encryption is left as is, then platforms will continue to be abused and used to aid crime but if backdoors are put in place there’s potential for privacy abuses.

It’s pretty clear that if backdoors were put in place, a significant number of African governments would abuse these and use them to spy on opposition members and people they consider to be “bad apples”.


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