India along with 6 other nations will back a United Kingdom-led campaign against end-to-end encryption of messages by social media giants such as Facebook. They have claimed that this feature hinders the law enforcement against the illegal activities by blocking all access to them. Further, the system also prevents law enforcement investigating and prosecuting against online child sexual abuse, grooming and terrorist content.

Points To Note

  • United Kingdom and India will be joined by the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
  • A joint international statement was released that addressed all tech companies in order to ensure that they do not blind themselves for illegal activity on their platforms such as child abuse images.
  • The call also marks an expansion of the “Five Eyes” group of nations by including India and Japan.

Facebook’s response

Social media company Facebook said that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people’s most private information, in return. Facebook backed itself by stating that people prefer end-to-end encrypted messaging on various apps because it keeps their messages safe from hackers, criminals, and foreign interference.

Five Eyes group

Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and United States of America. The origin of the Five Eyes date back to the post–Second World War period.  During that time, the Five Eyes developed the ECHELON surveillance system in order to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. Now this system is used to monitor private communications worldwide. All Five Eyes countries are party to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement which is a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

ECHELON Surveillance System

ECHELON is a surveillance program operated by the United States of America with the help of four signatory states of the UKUSA Security Agreement namely, Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. ECHELON Surveillance System was created in 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union during the Cold War (1947-1991).

India joined UK-led campaign India joined UK-led campaign