People make the weirdest claims

Facebook’s controversial encryption plans ‘won’t give users real privacy’, MPs have been told as they were warned it will ‘cripple’ child abuse blocking software.

A leading expert has said the company’s proposals to encrypt its Messenger service will still hand it a ‘trove of information’ on users.

The comments come as Facebook has justified its contentious plans, which mean even it won’t be able to see what its users are uploading to the platform, on the grounds it will enhance people’s privacy.

The social media giant is facing mounting criticism over encryption plans that will make it harder to detect terrorist activity and child abuse material,

So the authorities won’t be able to track your blow stuff up and kiddie fiddling ways. And yet this is not an increase in privacy?

Sure, it may not be the type of privacy we’re delighted in on national security grounds but it is privacy. For it is important to ask, well, privacy from whom?

9 thoughts on “People make the weirdest claims”

  1. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    Anyone who wants to set up a system whereby they can exchange encrypted messages (that even the top three letter agencies would have to expend considerable resources on decrypting) with fellow terrorists and pedos can do so extremely easily. Why would you use whatsapp or similar services, other than the partial cover of hoping to be being a faint signal among a vast amount of noise?

    If you want to keep your filth and violence secret, you need to know who has access to the encryption keys. That human risk is there whatever system you use. Old-fashioned infiltration, reading PINS over shoulders, stealing or confiscating phones, is the way these groups get taken out, every time. So the “we need access to all your conversations, decrypted” is bullshit.

    Encryption or the lack of it has essentially zero impact on the detectability of these crimes.

  2. For it is important to ask, well, privacy from whom?

    It’s clear from the snippet you quote that it’s privacy from Facebook data gathering that will still be lacking. Which makes sense; they’re hardly going to enable something that stops their business model. It would seem the kiddie fiddlers can talk amongst themselves but will still be targeted with adverts from puppy farms and van sellers.

  3. “Anyone who wants to set up a system whereby they can exchange encrypted messages (that even the top three letter agencies would have to expend considerable resources on decrypting) with fellow terrorists and pedos can do so extremely easily.”

    GPG over email, for example. Hell, email encrypted by hand the old-fashioned way with a one-time-pad, if you’re that paranoid.

    But PJF hits the nail. What Facebook introducing encryption says to me is that Facebook has found a way around the problems it had with encryption and wants a new selling-point. By all accounts it’s been testing things out with WhatsApp.

  4. If you’re using a standard device, the police/security service will simply drop some key-logger and get access that way. Hardened devices, such as the Encrochat or Sky ECC phones, require a lot more effort, but will still succumb if the authorities deem it sufficiently important.

  5. Why is it always “Think of the Children!!” and “!Terr’sts!!”?

    You’d think that with decades of shouting this, and decades of absolutely bugger all when it comes to arrests/results when it comes to the hardcore setups, you’d think even the dullest of MP’s would have caught on….

    You’d have to be terminally stupid to even contemplate using popular social media to organise something even potentially mildly illegal, let alone kiddie-fiddling and blowing up random strangers.

  6. This particular storm in a teacup has nothing to do with Facebook Messenger; you would have to be galacticly stupid to use that platform for anything remotely dodgy given how it’s widely known about lack of E2E encryption and the ready availability of WhatsApp / Signal / Telegram which do all have it.

    This is about winning the argument that ‘encryption bad’ and using that as a platform for rolling back on the others. Good luck with that – the code is open source so rolling your own setup is about half an hour’s work for the average 13 year old. But politicians and detailed knowledge of anything eh?

  7. Yeah, the encryption wibble is red herring.

    For things like Messenger, the content might be encrypted, but the end points are known. Traffic between two new, apparently unconnected people is going to look a bit odd, when Facebook is moving towards trying accurately match a name given to an account to a real world identity.

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