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  • Facebook’s new encrypted network will give criminals the privacy they crave | John Naughton | Opinion

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See the news Facebook’s new encrypted network will give criminals the privacy they crave | John Naughton | Opinion from Source New York Times on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

Facebook’s new encrypted network will give criminals the privacy they crave | John Naughton | Opinion

Dearly beloved, our reading this morning is taken from the latest Epistle of St Mark to the schmucks – as members of his 2.3 billion-strong Church of Facebook are known. The purpose of the epistle is to outline a new “vision” that St Mark has for the future of privacy, a subject that is very close to his wallet – which is understandable, given that he has acquired an unconscionable fortune from undermining it.“As I think about the future of the internet,” he writes (revealingly conflating his church with the infrastructure on which it runs), “I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.”Quite so. But nowadays, Zuckerberg continues, “we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication. There are a number of reasons for this. Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends. People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they’ve shared. And we all expect to be able to do things like payments privately and securely.”The pivot is a way of getting a huge PR win while saving a ton of moneyAccordingly, he announces a grand plan: he’s going to integrate all Facebook’s messaging apps – WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct – into a single, end-to-end encrypted network. (WhatsApp is already encrypted.) That way the content of messages will be protected from the inquisitive eyes of authoritarian snoopers and online criminals – as well as from Facebook itself.This latest “pivot” (the tech term for a swerve) by the Facebook pontiff has taken the world by surprise. Investors don’t seem to be spooked by it – the share price hardly moved. This could be because ye olde Facebook service – the money pump that enables people to make fools of themselves in public while receiving targeted ads and curated newsfeed – will continue alongside the heavily encrypted messaging system. Or perhaps they believe that Zuckerberg has found a way to monetise the metadata from encrypted messaging. PR practitioners, on the other hand, saw it as a stroke of genius: a company that has attracted so much odium for playing fast and loose with users’ privacy suddenly becomes the global champion of encrypted privacy. What’s not to like?Observers of a suspicious turn of mind see the pivot in less edifying lights. This columnist, for example, interprets it as a recognition by St Mark that the exponentially increasing costs of “moderating” Facebook content will eventually become unsupportable. But if much of that content morphs...

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See the news Facebook’s new encrypted network will give criminals the privacy they crave | John Naughton | Opinion from Source New York Times on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.