Authorities seek access to encrypted user messages
NEW YORK — U.S. Attorney General William Barr and other U.S., U.K. and Australian officials are pressing Facebook to give authorities a way to read encrypted messages sent by users, reigniting tensions between tech companies and law enforcement.
Facebook's WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, meaning that even Facebook cannot read the messages. Facebook plans to extend that protection to Messenger and Instagram Direct. But the officials will ask Facebook to hold off in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Meanwhile, the European Union's highest court ruled that individual member countries can force Facebook to remove what they regard as unlawful material from the social network all over the world — a decision experts say could hinder free speech online.