GEC Steering Committee welcomes Meta end-to-end encryption roll-out for Messenger

The Global Encryption Coalition’s Steering Committee1 welcomes the roll-out of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default on Meta’s Messenger service.

This important step, which implements recommendations in an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment Meta commissioned last year (2022), will advance the privacy, security and safety of communications for its hundreds of millions of users worldwide. The implementation began on 06 December, and as explained in the information published on Meta’s website, it will safeguard two aims that are at the heart of any deployment of end-to-end encryption, namely;

  1. Only the sender and recipients of an E2EE message can see its contents.
  2. Nobody (not even Meta) should be able to forge messages to appear to have been sent from someone who did not send them.

The Steering Committee notes that Meta will continue to collect metadata — such as information about who communicated with whom — which can be retained and provided to law enforcement whether voluntarily or to comply with a legal order. Meta has described its plans to use metadata analysis along with user reporting, and other techniques to address illegal content on its platforms that adopt E2EE.

The Global Encryption Coalition exists to promote strong encryption and defend it wherever it is under threat. We also support and encourage the efforts of companies to protect their customers by deploying strong encryption on their services and on their platforms.

This move on the part of Meta is part of a broader commitment to roll out E2EE on its services, including, for example, Instagram. In these efforts, Meta joins other companies who provide end-to-end encryption for their 1:1 messaging services – many of whom are members of the Global Encryption Coalition. As people increasingly depend on 1:1 messaging services for their communications, the implementation of E2EE by providers of these services continues to be a vital protection for internet users globally.

 1Global Partners Digital, the Internet Society, Center for Democracy & Technology, Mozilla and the Internet Freedom Foundation constitute the Steering Committee of the Global Encryption Coalition.