End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) received another PR blitz by the UK Government
The government of the UK (gov.uk) is now running a PR blitz to ban encryption from communication services. On 15th January 2015, former Prime Minister David Cameroon asked the former US President Barak Obama to ask internet companies to cooperate with the UK. They were told to work closely with the British Intelligence agencies. To decrease terrorist concerns or potential threats.
E2EE ban pledge, stated by David Cameroon to the online messaging platforms on lifting the feature. End-to-end encryption allows users to message or communicate among themselves without any third-party moderation. Meaning even the government can't eavesdrop on the communication.
In a world where privacy is a concern, major social media platforms gathering user information easily just for the sake of an excellent profile, end-to-end encryption is a lifesaver. We see them on WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, iMessage, etc. Messages send under the end-to-end protocol limit outside eyes, meaning only the sender and the receiver can view what's in the chat.
E2EE is considered one of the securest forms of data transmission, and even the messaging company can't decrypt the text. However, concerns were raised as terrorists or gang members can heavily utilise the platform. The cyber defence force always keeps a close eye on suspecting data sources, but E2EE puts a barrier in front.
A recent announcement made the headlines as the UK PR blitz is pushing Facebook Messenger and Instagram by 2023. The government wants a transparent medium to seek through the conversation. Of course, they are not to ruin your privacy, but to check if any illegal stuff is going under there. Many would argue they prefer E2EE, and we understand, but plans by the government have their reasons.
Meta's messaging programs will receive E2EE by 2023, even though the government is pushing to stop. UK Home Office plans to run an ad campaign to capture people's thoughts on the matter. Meaning it will not be a forced process but rather a process voted by the people.
Rolling Stone critics call the process' scaremongering' tactic as the opinion against end-to-end encryption is truly mobilising. The government of the UK currently set up plans with law enforcement and charities on public relations, reported by Yahoo Finance on 17th January 2022.
People are used to having end-to-end encryption security features, and it would be hard to come out of the service. Some companies solely sell their product using end-to-end technology, and the lifting would cause unrecoverable damage.
But complying with the law comes first, and there is nothing to stack against it. Slideshows on the campaign may make people feel 'uneasy,' as many would go on the side of personal data protection side of things.
CEO of Meta (Facebook) Mark Zuckerberg also released a statement regarding the issue as many of his companies will fall under the assessment.
Privacy advocates also sided with the general public and said the 'scaremongering' of end-to-end encryption removal might have opposite side effects.
The publicity blitz to undermine the privacy of chats came from a long line of meetings, comprehensive research, countrywide and international movements. But the questions remain whether this is the best thing government officials can do to restrict terrorist communication.
Everyone is waiting on the welcome of many drastic ways to end E2EE protection over their chats. However, the critical objective is mobilising public opinion against Facebook's decision. A decision to encrypt its application, Messenger.
A spin-off of Saatchi and Saatchi, the M&C Saatchi advertising agency, was hired by the Home Office to run these ad campaigns throughout social media and gather public opinion.
According to Rolling Stone, one of the activities was a man and a child put inside a glass box while the man is 'knowingly' looking at the child. With dimming, the glass goes to black. It is considered a publicly offensive stunt, and privacy groups plan to counter the campaign.
Social media giant Facebook delaying its end to the E2EE in 2023 is just looking out for some extended time. Currently, they are working on the Metaverse, and the experimental release may cost-share the price to fluctuate. In the meantime, tackling loss from major platforms could delay the operation.