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FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake?

CDT’s Greg Nojeim writes in Ars Technica:

In the wake of news from Reuters on Friday that a federal court in California rejected Department of Justice demands that Facebook break, bypass, or remove the encryption in its Messenger app, it’s worth noting how little we still know about such an important dispute.

Depending on what specific relief the government sought from the court, the case may signal a potentially significant threat to the security of Internet-based communications. In a hyperconnected world, the implications of the government’s demand for expanded surveillance capabilities go far beyond any legitimate law enforcement equities in any single case.

Yet almost nothing is known about the details of the Facebook case because the records remain under seal. Absent more information, the public has no clear way of assessing the impacts for security that are at stake.

Full piece here.