Tech

Meta Finally Adds End-To-Encryption To Facebook Messenger!

Facebook-Messenger-Meta-Introduces-Default-End-to-End-Encryption
Written by Editor N4GM

After more than four years of development, Meta has brought default end-to-end encryption into the Facebook Messenger app.

Meta is no longer permitted to access messages sent using Messenger apps such as LINE and WhatsApp, nor access their contents. This significant modification means even Meta cannot read messages sent using those applications.

Meta-owned WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption with keys held exclusively on user’s devices – similar to what happens with personal calls and messages stored locally by Meta.

This encryption enhancement represents an important shift legally; law enforcement no longer has access to Messenger chats through subpoena.

Meta will store encrypted copies of user chats without keeping hold of their encryption keys.

End-to-end encryption was met with resistance in 2019, as Trump administration officials and US allies voiced concern that its implementation may thwart law enforcement efforts to track criminals.

Meta has come under scrutiny by the UK’s National Crime Agency as they implemented end-to-end encryption. The NCA has issued statements criticizing them over this move and called out for increased regulations pertaining to encryption solutions such as Meta’s.

James Babbage, director at the crime agency, expressed concerns that encryption could impede law enforcement efforts against online child predators; further commenting that Meta’s responsibility of keeping children safe on its platform had become even greater over time.

Messenger users have had access to end-to-end encryption since 2016 via the opt-in Secret Conversation feature.

Meta was required to extensively redesign Messenger features when setting encryption as the default setting.

Although Meta may gradually implement default end-to-end encryption for most of its users over several months, the global rollout should take effect sooner rather than later.

Users will be required to set up recovery methods, such as PIN numbers when their chats are upgraded.

Meta reassures its users that its encryption implementation involved collaboration among external experts, academics, advocates, and governments to identify and mitigate potential risks, with particular attention paid to privacy and safety being equally prioritized.

Questions remain regarding Meta’s implementation of its privacy features; and while some “tradeoffs” exist for example encrypted messages may be stored locally by browsers when connecting through Messenger online, leaving open questions over privacy concerns and whether Meta is the appropriate choice for all.

Meta has provided ample transparency by publishing two technical papers detailing its end-to-end encryption system’s design.

Image Source: Brett Jordan

About the author

Editor N4GM

He is the Chief Editor of n4gm. His passion is SEO, Online Marketing, and blogging. Sachin Sharma has been the lead Tech, Entertainment, and general news writer at N4GM since 2019. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online technicality flows the expert industry coverage he provides. In addition to writing for Technical issues, Sachin also provides content on Entertainment, Celebs, Healthcare and Travel etc... in n4gm.com.

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