WhatsApp Takes on the EU regarding Encryption and Child Abuse Content
WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart is heading to the United Kingdom to discuss the latest bill that has to do with end-to-end encryption on messaging apps. With the government trying to get a handle on child sexual abuse material (CSAM), it may mean lowering security protocols. However, Cathcart and other platforms like Signal are against this act.
So, there are two issues being explored here. Let’s look at the CSAM one first. Charities and organizations protecting children, such as the NPCC in Britain, are holding strong that bills need to be put in place. Specifically, the law needs to protect against abusive content and grooming between adults and teens. With encryption in place, the government can’t monitor who the offenders are and protect teenagers.
On the other hand, weakening encryption comes with its own slew of problems. Remember, apps like WhatsApp and Signal have been working hard to make sure your chats remain private. Should this UK bill be put into place, that means the government may spy on what you’re discussing, whether or not it involves CSAM.
The UK bill for protecting children on chats has been in discussion for years now. There have been so many amendments in that time. While it discusses technology to specifically fund CSAM content, Cathcart says that tech doesn’t even exist yet. Instead of the government proposing a solution, they’re expecting apps like WhatsApp to come up with one.
It’s a very sensitive issue, but Signal has already said it will walk away if the UK bill is approved and they ask for encryption to be weakened. Then again, the charities and protective agencies won’t stop until they can find a way to capture these CSAM offenders and help teenagers have a wonderful youth.