As a privacy defender myself, I believe that conversations in digital media should be kept private and cannot be viewed or recorded by anyone else in any way. This is the core idea behind ‘end-to end encryption’.
What is end-to–end encryption?
“End-to end encryption” encrypts communication between sender and receiver, making it almost impossible for anyone else to access a conversation. Facebook’s popular messaging app, Whatsapp, is a shining example of end to end encryption.
End-to-end encryption is enabled in Whatsapp so that no one can see private chats, videos or images between individuals. The sender and the receiver have a set of keys that allow them to continue the conversation. This is called end-to-end encryption in Whatsapp. Senders can send messages with a ‘key,’ and the receiver will unlock it with the corresponding key to view it. In this instance, Whatsapp does not have any keys and cannot view any conversation.
The Whatsapp end-to-end’ encryption is automatically turned on, making it a privacy winner for both individuals and groups. However, dangerous and anti-social conversations can also be started on the platform. These conversations must be monitored and tracked.
As an example, law enforcement can view conversations between two contacts if they are suspected of having a dangerous intent. They cannot, because of the way Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption.
Facebook and end-to–end encryption
It is a well-known fact that Facebook and many other social media platforms rely on user data. The more we share, we generate more business. Criminals, pedophiles, and other anti-social elements may steal the same data and use it for malicious purposes. This can lead to a serious privacy breach.
For a while, privacy and Facebook have not been inseparable.
Mark Zuckerberg’s words:
“I understand that not many people believe Facebook can or would want to build this type of privacy-focused platform. Because frankly, we don’t have a strong reputation for building privacy protection services and we’ve historically emphasized tools for more open sharing.” (A Privacy-Focused vision for social networking)
The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the collection of personal data from several Facebook profiles without permission, has caused a major privacy breach at Facebook. This privacy breach led to Facebook seeking to restore its privacy reputation with “end-to end encryption” for Messenger.
What happens if Facebook adopts a ‘end to end’ encryption for its Messenger platform
Facebook is very popular and can be used as a platform for terrorists, criminals, pedophiles, and other malicious elements to share information and vitriolic content.
If Facebook goes ahead with its plans to secure its communication using ‘end-to end encryption’ for its Messenger platform, and Instagram account, there will be no backdoor to access the dangerous and sensitive content that is already floating around on its platform between terrorists and other criminals. Similar to the WhatsApp platform, no one can access this information on Facebook Messenger. Not even Facebook.
This is exactly the issue that is troubling government officials around the world. The Australian, UK, and US governments have expressed concern about this aspect and sought to stop Facebook’s plans to implement ‘end-to end encryption’. The German government joined other governments in asking Facebook to reconsider its encryption plans (Germany asks Facebook to end encryption plans).
The flip side to adopting “end-to-end encryption”:
One side of encryption deals only with terr