Germany Joins US, UK, Australia in Calls to End Facebook Encryption

Germany is the latest to join the war on encryption. They are now also calling on Facebook to end their efforts to increase user security.

The war on security is continuing to escalate. Germany is joining with the US, UK, and Australia to demand Facebook halt it’s efforts to increase user security. In a statement, the German Interior Ministry warned that security will make the world less secure. From DW:

Germany joined the US, the UK and Australia on Saturday in calling on Facebook to rethink its plans to introduce new encryption for its main platform as well as chat services Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook had announced in March that it intends to roll out end-to-end encryption for all its services.

In a statement, the German Interior Ministry said it stood by its allies “regarding the foreseeable problematic consequences of Facebook’s plans for public security.”

The ministry warned the move would start a “weakening of the security services’ ability to detect serious threats and prosecute serious crimes,” including “a large amount of child pornography content, including possible ongoing cases of abuse.”

The statement also called for tech giants to engage in open dialogue rather than act unilaterally.

The move by Germany might not be entirely surprising. Back in June, German actively considered joining the war on encryption. The moves at the time compelled Mozilla, maker of FireFox, to push back against this growing anti-security calls. At the time, Mozilla pointed out that the moves would undermine more than 20 years of successful crypto policy in the country. This latest move seems to suggest that those calls to pull away from the brink might have fallen on deaf ears.

The development come after the US, UK, and Australia sent a joint letter demanding Facebook put a halt to safeguarding users communications through encryption. More than 100 rights organizations have responded with a joint letter of their own saying that better security will be a boon for democratic values and public safety. Edward Snowden also weighed in, saying that without encryption, we lose all privacy.

Regardless of the reasons why better securing user information, that didn’t stop UK MP’s summoning Nick Clegg to testify and answer questions on why Facebook is securing user messages. Some might consider this a pressure tactic more than anything else.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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