Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s encryption plans despite concerns on terrorism and child abuse

Clearly FB is eager to leave behind its scandalous past, especially its relation with Cambridge Analytica, and is eager to portray itself as a more secure platform for consumers.

In a significant development, Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to encrypt Facebook’s messaging services despite growing concerns on criminal activity and child exploitation on its platform.

Earlier on Thursday, the United States, Britain and Australia signed an open letter calling for Facebook to end its encryption plan for its messaging services saying it would add as an obstacle in the fight against terrorism and child abuse.

Speaking in a livestream of the company’s weekly internal Q&A session, Zuckerberg stated he was aware of child exploitation risks and acknowledged that Facebook’s encryption plans would reduce law enforcement tools to fight the menace of terrorism.

“When we were deciding whether to go to end-to-end encryption across the different apps, this was one of the things that just weighed the most heavily on me,” said Zuckerberg.

Addressing an employee question about online child abuse, Zuckerberg acknowledged that losing access to the content of messages would mean “you’re fighting that battle with at least a hand tied behind your back.”

He went on to add, he was “optimistic” that Facebook would be able to identify predators even in encrypted systems using the same tools it used to fight election interference, like patterns of activity and links between accounts on different platforms.

He also hinted at the possibility that Facebook could potentially further limit the ways adults can interact with minors on its platforms.

Facebook is eager to leave behind its scandalous agreement with Cambridge Analytica, with the company’s engineers, insiders and product managers seeing the encryption move as a win.

In contrast, members of Facebook’s safety team familiar with the child exploitation risks argued vehementally against its encrypption plans while raising deep concerns with Facebook’s senior executives, said sources familiar with the matter at hand.

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