Facebook testing new encrypted backups for Messenger chat app

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MetaBefore Facebook, announced plans on Thursday to test a new secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted backups of users’ chats on Messenger.

After notification Facebook Messenger changed chat histories to Nebraska police as part of an investigation into illegal abortions. A Meta spokesperson was not immediately available for comment told Wired This action is unrelated.

End-to-end encryption ensures that both parties can chat securely by scrambling the data so that only the sender and receiver can read the messages. A secure storage feature allows users to back up end-to-end encrypted Messenger conversations in case they want to restore their message history on a new device.

Facebook cannot access these messages, and users can use a PIN, a generated code, or a third-party cloud service to retrieve their messages.

The feature is rolling out to Android and iOS devices this week, but it’s not yet available on the Messenger website. Meta also announced plans to expand testing of end-to-end encrypted messages on Instagram.

“People want to trust that their online conversations with friends and family are private and secure,” Meta said in a release. “We work hard to protect your private messages and calls with end-to-end encryption built into Messenger and Instagram.”

The company has been discussing full deployment of end-to-end encryption since 2016, but critics have said the security measure would make it too difficult for law enforcement to catch child predators.

At the 2019 “Legal Access Summit” hosted by the Department of Justice, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Facebook is “a dream come true for predators and child molesters”.

Meta said in the release that it is moving toward a global rollout of default end-to-end encryption for private messages and calls by 2023.

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