Facebook Encryption Could Prevent Detection of Child Abuse, NCA Says | Facebook
Facebook’s plans to allow encrypted messaging on all of its platforms could prevent the detection of up to 20 million child abuse images each year, a senior investigating officer said.
Rob Jones, director of threat management at the National Crime Agency, said the social media company’s goal of deploying end-to-end encryption would prevent officers from accessing “incisive information” that allows them to save abused children.
The warning, which will alarm privacy activists, came as the government continued to fight plans by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to expand encryption.
Last month, Facebook extended the ability to use end-to-end encryption for Messenger voice and video calls, which means no one else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what is being sent or said. .
In a briefing with reporters, Jones said police were dependent on “a very rapid and aggressive law enforcement response” to online sexual abuse content that allows officers to develop suspicion, suspicion, and abuse. beliefs or probable cause.
“This content will disappear if the current privacy model [suggested by Facebook] lands the way it was described. So all of this advice is in danger – all of this advice, ”he said.
“When Facebook loses sight of not being able to see content, [abusers’] the behavior will continue – there is no indication that it will not – but the report will be of a different type.
“The report will tell us what we already know: that we suspect Facebook has many people with a sexual interest in children. It won’t give a level of incisive intelligence and ruptures and leads that we’re getting now, which allows us to go and get a search warrant, go through a door, and save a child.
In 2020, the tech industry made more than 21 million child sexual abuse referrals globally identified on its platforms to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). More than 20 million of those reports came from Facebook, the NCA said.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will step up her international campaign against encryption on Wednesday as she meets with her G7 counterparts over the next two days, with internet security dominating the agenda.
At a meeting of ministers from G7 countries, she will also launch a fund to fight child sexual abuse online.
Innovators and tech experts will be asked to apply for government funding to show internet tech giants how they can better design their products and not increase the risk of their platforms being a safe haven for child sex offenders.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “Child exploitation has no place on our platforms and Facebook will continue to lead the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect and respond to abuse.
“End-to-end encryption is already the primary security technology used by many services to protect people from hackers and criminals. Its full roll-out to our courier services is a long-term project and we are building strong security measures into our plans. ”