(Last Updated On: October 4, 2019)

Social media platforms, Facebook and WhatsApp will now onwards be obligated to share encrypted messages of their users with the British police, because of the treaty between the US and the UK. The treaty details show that the companies will be required to support all investigations in cases of serious criminals such as terrorism and paedophilia and provide the data required. This treaty will soon be signed, next month.

According to the rules, the treaty does not require the US and the UK to investigate each other’s citizens. Facebook had admitted that this deal does undermine its user’s privacy and security,  as information disclosed from its users to British firms, in the case of a death penalty case, cannot be used by the US.

In a statement, Facebook said, “We oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of our users everywhere. Government policies like the Cloud Act allow for companies to provide available information when we receive valid legal requests and do not require companies to build back doors.”

Last year, President Trump had signed The CLOUD Act or Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act. This will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to retrieve information online. Data from any country can be obtained by the agencies.

UK home secretary, Priti Patel previously said that Facebook threatened to hamper the fight with against terrorism and child abusers by increasing encryption and warned that Facebook’s plan to enable users to send end-to-end encrypted messages would benefit criminals, and called on social media firms to develop “back doors” to give intelligence agencies access to their messaging platforms.

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