UK may force Facebook services to allow backdoor police access


Level 27
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Top poster
Jun 14, 2011
Ministers are considering forcing Facebook to implement a backdoor to allow security agencies and police to read the contents of messages sent across its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chat services.

Industry sources say they understand that the Home Office is threatening to use a special legal power called a technical capability notice to compel Facebook to develop a system to allow for the eavesdropping of messages.

The Open Rights Group, a privacy watchdog, said it feared that demanding backdoor access would mean “subjecting all our private messages to monitoring and surveillance on the assumption that we are all criminals”.

Jim Killock, its executive director, called on Boris Johnson to “stay true to his libertarian instincts” and “resist the Orwellian and frankly dangerous impulses of the Home Office and some of his colleagues to snoop on our private messages”.


Level 14
Top poster
Jan 21, 2018
I don't like Farcebook but this is an April fool's joke,right!:(
Unfortunately this is what happens when you try to silence people like Snowden and Assange from spilling the beans on the elite!
I'm with you on disliking Fakebook.

As for the possibility that the story is an April Fools story it was apparently published on the Guardian's website on Thu 1 Apr 2021 18.26 BST. Now the Guardian does participate in publishing April Fools stories, but when I was a kid I understood that it was only possible to play April Fools jokes up to midday. The Guardian story references articles published by Wired and The Open Rights Group. The Wired article just says that it was published Thursday 1 April 2021, so that could have been in the AM timeframe, the Open Rights Group blog post was made 01 Apr 2021, so they could both be parties to a joke. I subscribe to email updates from the Open Rights Group and usually get email notifications of new posts and campaign articles, I didn't with this one though. Over to Sherlock I think!

In reality I wouldn't put it past Pritti Vacant Patel, she is what is supposed to pass for the current Home Secretary to try this. The current government are using lockdown to clamp down on a lot of our rights - see the stories about protests and the new policing bill she is also trying to implement, much is being done without parliamentary scrutiny and the Labour opposition are so wet. They are doing this as both a diversion from the appalling mess they've made of Brexit and the Covid crisis, while at the same time hoping that these bills will sneak through while we're distracted by the pandemic. I know that sounds muddled, but that is the UK government for you!