For a long time, social media has been criticized for its lack of management and monitoring of potentially dangerous information. Recently, a new agreement to be signed between the UK and the US government may force big companies like Facebook to take more action.
Under a new treaty between the United States and Britain, U.S. social media platforms, including Facebook and WhatsApp, will be forced to share encrypted information with British police, people familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg reported. The agreement, which is scheduled to be signed next month, will force social media companies to share information to support investigations into individuals suspected of serious crimes such as terrorism and paedophilia, the person said. Previously, British police had access to social media information for citizens only if someone's life was threatened.
As part of the treaty, the United States and Britain have agreed not to investigate each other's citizens, and the United States will not be able to use information obtained from British companies in any case involving the death penalty.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously warned that Facebook allowing users to send end-to-end encrypted information would help criminals commit criminal activities. He called on social media companies to develop backdoor programs to facilitate intelligence services.
In response, Facebook said in a statement, "We oppose the government's attempt to create a back door because it endangers the privacy and security of every user in the world.
On Hackernews, the news quickly attracted a lot of attention and heated discussions about the actions of the British and American governments. Will Cathcart, head of Facebook's WhatsApp social tool, also appeared in a statement:
We will always oppose the government's attempt to establish backdoor procedures because such a move would undermine the safety of everyone who uses WhatsApp. Today, we must defend the security and privacy of users around the world, and we will continue to do so. Some netizens asked directly under the statement, "do you have a back door now?"
In response, Will Cathcart answered, "We don't. You don't have to believe what we say, and I don't expect you to believe it. As others in this post have said, if we had a back door, you could easily find it in our code. "
The trigger for the treaty's signing goes back to a recent homicide case.
In July 2018, 13-year-old British girl Lucy McHugh was killed and her tenant, Stephen Nicholson, was sentenced on suspicion of murder. During the investigation, Nicholson refused to hand over his Facebook password. Facebook also declined to disclose the content of the information sent by Nicholson to Lucy, which the police are very dissatisfied with.
Earlier, Facebook was criticized for not cooperating with British police in investigating Lucy McHug's murder.
Because Facebook is headquartered in the United States, the police have to apply to the United States judiciary for an Facebook password for Nicholson, a process that may take a long time.
Ultimately, British police obtained Lucy's information through American courts, but it was time for trial. Police suspect Nicholson has deleted a lot of information. Nicholson was eventually sentenced to at least 33 years in prison.
In response, Walton told The Times: "American technology giants are invisibly casting a shadow over the fight against serious crime and terrorism. Some of these giants'practices are conducive to more convenient illegal actions by criminals and terrorists. "
Technology companies have been cautious about disclosing information to assist police in handling cases. Apple's famous "refusal to unlock the iPhone" incident in 2016 has caused great controversy. To investigate a shooting case that killed 14 people in December 2015, a California federal court prosecutor asked Apple to unlock an iPhone 5C used by a murderer, but Apple later issued a statement rejecting the U.S. government's request on the grounds of protecting customer privacy.
We object to this order because it involves far more than the scope of the immediate legal case. Apple CEO Tim
However, U.S. law enforcement has found other ways to unlock the iPhone. According to Forbes and other media reports, Grayshift's unlocking tool, GrayKey, has attracted increasing attention from federal and local police in the United States because of its commitment to unlock Apple's iPhone. U.S. government departments have relied on such hacker tools to unlock devices in their investigations.