Big Tech: We need end-to-end encrypted messaging now

Big Tech

In the first weeks of August, news broke about a Nebraska teen and mother facing felony charges for violating state anti-abortion laws after investigators successfully obtained their private messages directly from Facebook.

While direct messages on platforms like Facebook Messenger and Twitter might seem private, they aren’t. Most Big Tech companies are constantly collecting and storing your information, including your messages, and if presented with a warrant from law enforcement, chances are they will comply and hand over the data they’ve collected.

That’s why we need to demand that all companies with messaging platforms immediately protect your direct messages with end-to-end encryption (E2EE). When messages are end-to-end encrypted, only the people sending and receiving them have access to them. Messages that aren’t end-to-end encrypted can be accessed by the platform itself, and could even be intercepted by third parties, like malicious hackers. If Facebook Messenger had been secured by default E2EE, it would’ve been impossible for Meta to hand over the Nebraska teen’s DMs to law enforcement; the company can’t pass on messages it was never able to read in the first place.

End-to-end encryption isn't a new thing. Digital rights activists and journalists, as well as sex workers, racial justice activists, and other groups that are systematically targeted by surveillance and police abuse have been demanding end-to-end encrypted messaging for years. Some platforms have responded: E2EE is already the default for WhatsApp, iMessage, and Signal. Now more than ever, as our right to abortion and other fundamental freedoms are under attack, we need ALL platforms to take action to ensure we have safe spaces to communicate with friends and loved ones online.  

End-to-end encryption doesn’t only protect privacy—it saves people’s lives. It’s time to implement it as the default for every messaging platform across all devices.

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To: Big Tech
From: [Your Name]

I’m calling on all platforms with messaging tools to protect my messages with default end-to-end encryption immediately.