Following a letter from the governments of the U.S., U.K., and Australia to Facebook requesting the company to weaken the security of its messaging services, more than 50 civil society organizations (and counting) have come together in support of Facebook’s plans to increase end-to-end security across its services and products. The Center for Democracy & Technology organized the groups in opposition to the alarming governmental efforts to undermine the security of citizens globally across Facebook’s expansive communications network.
Below is the text of the joint statement from these organizations. With organizations signing-on quickly, check here for the most up-to-date list.
OPEN LETTER: FACEBOOK’S END-TO-END SECURITY PLANS
The organizations below write today to encourage you, in no uncertain terms, to continue increasing the end-to-end security across Facebook’s messaging services.
We have seen requests from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australian governments asking you to suspend these plans “until [Facebook] can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce public safety”. We believe they have this entirely backwards: each day that platforms do not support strong end-to-end security is another day that this data can be breached, mishandled, or otherwise obtained by powerful entities or rogue actors to exploit it.
Given the remarkable reach of Facebook’s messaging services, ensuring default end-to-end security will provide a substantial boon to worldwide communications freedom, to public safety, and to democratic values, and we urge you to proceed with your plans to encrypt messaging through Facebook products and services. We encourage you to resist calls to create so-called “backdoors” or “exceptional access” to the content of users’ messages, which will fundamentally weaken encryption and the privacy and security of all users.