Head of NCA Warns Meta’s End-to-End Encryption Puts ‘Profit Before Safety’

The director of the National Crime Agency cautioned that digital firms like Facebook prioritize business above safety by implementing end-to-end encryption on chat services.

According to Graeme Biggar, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has consciously closed its eyes to significant crimes.

He and thirty-two other European police chiefs met in London to urge governments and the IT sector to resolve a problem that prevents law enforcement from losing access to crime data.

Police will be unable to investigate and prevent significant crimes, including murder, terrorism, human trafficking, child abuse, and drug smuggling, because of Meta’s decision to automatically encrypt all Facebook and Messenger discussions.

Meta reports suspected cases of child abuse to the National Crime Agency (NCA), the British equivalent of the FBI, which leads to the monthly arrest of 800 individuals and the protection of 1,200 children.

Meta’s decision to encrypt communications and calls so that only the sender and receiver can see them has Director General Mr. Biggar worried that arrest numbers may fall.

Europol’s executive director, Catherine de Bolle, compared the decision to sending your child into a room full of strangers and locking the door. Europol combats severe and organized crime in the EU.

This effectively removes Meta’s ability to identify instances of child abuse and illegal pornography on its platforms. According to the NCA, about 92% of the complaints received by the police from Facebook and 85% from Instagram will no longer be accessible.

While ensuring online security, Meta has spent five years developing robust safety measures to prevent and combat abuse, according to a company representative. He went on to say that the business would continue to report to the authorities.

End-to-end encryption, which is already the norm on some applications like Telegram and WhatsApp, means that no one can read a communication except the sender and the receiver, making it hard to uncover probable crimes.

Companies will be unable to access texts, photographs, and videos that are crucial in arresting pedophiles and other criminals.