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Report: Facebook will have to give UK police access to encrypted messages
Facebook will have to give UK police access to encrypted messages, report says
by Edward Moyer
Facebook and its messaging tool WhatsApp will have to give UK police access to users' encrypted messages under an upcoming treaty with the US, says a Saturday report by Bloomberg, which cites a confidential source. The treaty, which covers other US-based social media platforms as well, would require the sharing in regard to investigations of serious crimes, such as terrorism and pedophilia, Bloomberg said.
Under the treaty, scheduled to be finalized in October, the US and UK won't investigate each other's citizens, and information obtained from British firms can't be used by the US in death penalty cases, Bloomberg reported.
For some time, law enforcement officials in both countries have argued that uncrackable encryption provides cover for criminals. Police say "back doors," or secret access portals, should be built into such systems so law officers can carry out investigations. Critics, though, worry about surveillance abuses and say such back doors would also be discovered and used by malicious hackers.