A government minister criticizes Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg for implementing encryption in Facebook messages, accusing him of allowing child abusers to operate freely, while Meta defends its encryption measures and the government plans to launch an advertising campaign to inform parents about the implications for child safety.
Security Minister Tom Tugendhat criticized Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg for implementing encryption in Facebook messages, calling it an “extraordinary moral choice.” Tugendhat argued that this allowed child abusers to operate freely. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, stated that it would collaborate with law enforcement and child safety experts during the deployment of this technology. The government has long been critical of Meta’s encryption plans, claiming that it hinders efforts to identify and combat the sharing of child sexual abuse material. Tugendhat announced an upcoming government advertising campaign aimed at informing parents about Meta’s choices and their implications for child safety. Meta defends its encryption measures, emphasizing that they prioritize privacy and security while still taking action against abusive content. The UK government’s proposed Online Safety Bill includes powers for regulators to direct platforms to use accredited technology for scanning message content, but messaging platforms like Signal and WhatsApp have expressed their opposition to weakening encryption.