Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Defends Messenger Encryption Despite Child Porn Concerns

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently defended the company’s decision to encrypt its messaging services despite concerns over child safety and the rampant spread of child porn on the platform.

Reuters reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently defended the company’s plans to encrypt its messaging services, making it so that the company would not have access to user’s chat logs. But now, the United States, Britain, and Australia have signed an open letter requesting that the firm suspend these plans as it could have a negative effect on the fight against child exploitation and terrorism.

Speaking on a livestream during the company’s weekly internal Q&A session, Zuckerberg announced he was aware this could be an issue and acknowledged that encryption would reduce the number of tools available to fight the problem. Zuckerberg stated: “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.”

When questioned by one employee about the issue of child pornography, Zuckerberg admitted that no longer being able to access the content of messages sent on the platform would mean that “you’re fighting that battle with at least a hand tied behind your back.” But Zuckerberg stated that he was “optimistic” that the firm would still be able to identify predators in its encrypted system using the same tools used to fight election interference.

Zuckerberg also suggested that the company may limit the level of interaction that adults are able to have with minors on the platform. The decision to move messaging platforms to an encrypted service was divisive within Facebook. Privacy engineers eager to put the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the past and product managers who saw the success of encrypted messaging app WhatsApp all supported the move.

But Facebook’s safety team immediately argued against the plan raising concerns surrounding the distribution of child pornography and exploitation of minors on the platform. In their joint letter, the United States, Britain, and Australia stated that they had been in contact with Facebook but that the firm had not committed to addressing their “serious concerns” about the effects of encryption.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.