The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) wants Meta to abandon end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The international collaboration of police units argues that it would make protecting children more difficult.

The VGT was founded in 2003 and consists of 15 members, including Europol, the FBI and various national police organization. The group cites the example of Englishman David Wilson, who used Facebook to encourage thousands of children to send explicit photos and videos to him. With end-to-end encryption, he would have been unlikely to be caught, the VGT argues.

WhatsApp

Meta disagrees with that assertion. Speaking to The Register, a spokesperson for the tech giant states that it already has detection systems in place to detect bad actors. “We don’t think people want us to read their private messages, which is why we have implemented security measures that can prevent and detect this kind of despicable abuse. This way, we can take action against it while keeping online privacy and security a high priority.”

Currently, the globally used WhatsApp messenger platform, which Meta owns, includes this form of privacy protection. End-to-end encryption ensures that no one except the sender and receiver can look at messages. The implementation of end-to-end encryptions on other applications would simply bring Meta’s existing messenger apps at feature parity in this area.

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