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Risks And Benefits Of Encrypted Social Media, Considering Growth Of Child Abuse Images Online

A picture taken on October 17, 2016 shows an employee typing on a computer keyboard at the headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow. / AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Thibault MARCHAND        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Facebook plans to move towards encryption in the next three years—an alarming development for law enforcement investigating abuse cases.

Images of child abuse and exploitation on the internet have grown to an unprecedented number, according to an investigation by the New York Times.

Images of child abuse and exploitation on the internet have grown to an unprecedented number, according to an investigation by the New York Times

Facebook as a whole reported 90 percent of the content, mostly on the Messenger app. Currently, Messenger isn’t encrypted, which helps the FBI identify predators. But Facebook plans to move towards encryption in the next three years, which is causing alarm for law enforcement who say they'll lose ground on solving an already overwhelming surge in abuse cases. Privacy groups argue that encryption is necessary to protect the majority of social media users who don’t use the internet for criminal activity.

Do you think your social media data should be encrypted? Share your thoughts with Larry Mantle.

Guests:

Luke Hunt, associate professor of criminal justice at Radford University in Virginia; he is a former FBI Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Alan Butler, Senior Counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties and privacy research center based in Washington, DC

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