News August 11, 2022

Meta Just Happens to Expand Messenger’s End-to-End Encryption

Riana Pfefferkorn of SIO spoke with Wired on Meta's expansion of end-to-end encryption in Messenger.
image of three phones illustrating how end to end encryption works on Meta's platform

A NEBRASKA WOMAN and her 17-year-old daughter are facing felony and misdemeanor charges related to allegedly performing an abortion after 20 weeks, which has long been illegal in the state, and concealing a fetus. Reports from the Lincoln Journal Star and Motherboard revealed this week that law enforcement collected evidence for the charges in part by soliciting data from Meta with a warrant that ordered the company to hand over records from the 17-year-old’s Messenger chat histories. While Meta was complying with a lawful court order, the company would not have been able to produce the chats had the participants been using end-to-end encryption, a feature Meta has long promised to turn on for all users by default.

Meanwhile, in a move that Meta says is totally unrelated, the social media giant announced this morning that it is testing expansions of end-to-end encrypted messaging on Messenger.

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Riana Pfefferkorn

Q&A with Riana Pfefferkorn, Stanford Internet Observatory Research Scholar

Riana Pfefferkorn joined the Stanford Internet Observatory as a research scholar in December. She comes from Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, where she was the Associate Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity.
image of cursor hovering over an image of a lock

Why Encryption and Online Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

Riana Pfefferkorn is a research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory and a member of the Global Encryption Coalition. This first appeared in Brookings TECH STREAM.