Sheriff attends law enforcement summit opposing Facebook encryption

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The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is joining the national fight to keep access to the internet and apps used by terrorists and predators.

Sheriff Al Cannon recently joined with other law enforcement leaders for a summit at the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. opposing Facebook’s proposal to fully encrypt its services.

If Facebook implements end-to-end encryption, stopping internet crimes against children and apprehending predators may become more difficult, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

For years, Facebook has been used by law enforcement as an investigative tool for almost all crimes, including property thefts, homicides, and terrorism. For catching predators online and combating child sexual exploitation and child pornography– the social media site has been vital.

Facebook’s new proposal for end-to-end encryption of its services would block police from having the right to access messages, videos, and information that would help track down predators and rescue victims.

Sheriff Al Cannon say’s, “This is a very serious issue….When Facebook goes to end-to-end encryption, 70 percent of the information, the tips, that the center uses to identify exploited children and missing children–70 percent come from Facebook– that will all be lost.”

News 2 reached out to Facebook for comment.

“We respect and support the role law enforcement has in keeping people safe. Ahead of our plans to bring more security and privacy to our messaging apps, we are consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies…” – Facebook Spokesperson

Sheriff Al Cannon and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office say they’ll continue to stand with law enforcement leaders around the nation who are pushing to gain access to devices, apps, and the internet so they can stop crime.

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