Instant messaging applications sell among their virtues the encryption of end-to-end messages. At least that’s how it was until now. Encryption is done to guarantee our privacy: nobody but the sender and receiver of the message can read it. But some want privacy to blow up.

The justification is always security: it is done so that terrorists and criminals can be monitored. The Five Eyes intelligence alliance, formed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is working along these lines.

And now also Facebook. According to Forbes, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is working on a tool that will allow them to circumvent end-to-end encryption of messages sent by WhatsApp (a company also owned by Facebook). They argue that they will do so in order to find content that violates the company’s policies. In this way, Facebook would include in the messaging client an algorithm designed to moderate and filter content.

Surveillance, that’s the word, would be done directly on the user’s mobile phone. That is to say, the company would be placed at one of the extremes in order to be able to control what is said, what we say. Meanwhile, WhatsApp encryption would continue to prevent third parties from accessing the content of the conversation. What Forbes explains is that, from the device itself, the social network algorithm would transmit information in real time from a cloud service, as it would scan the content of the message just before it was sent and the encrypted message after it was decrypted.

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