Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, and the UK government are currently locked in a heated battle over the implementation of super-secure messaging with end-to-end encryption across all of Meta’s apps. This clash has attracted the attention of governments worldwide as they observe who will yield first. The dispute centers around a fundamental question: Should technology companies have the ability to access people’s private messages? This seemingly complex issue boils down to the core debate between Silicon Valley and numerous governments worldwide.

End-to-end encryption has become increasingly popular in the last decade, with billions of individuals using encrypted apps daily. At first, the majority of governments and security agencies hesitantly acknowledged the emergence of this technology. However, four years ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that both the Messenger app and Instagram would adopt end-to-end encryption as the standard. This declaration ignited concerns among governments and law enforcement agencies globally. While Meta has remained tight-lipped about the progress and timeline of the encryption implementation, calls to halt or introduce safeguards have intensified.

End-to-end encryption has faced criticism from various governments, such as the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, India, Turkey, Japan, and Brazil, as well as law enforcement agencies like Interpol. However, until now, no democratic government has passed legislation interfering with these popular apps. The UK’s proposed Online Safety Bill aims to address this issue by mandating technical backdoors for message scanning. The government argues that access to message content is crucial for convicting criminals and terrorists, and concerns about online child grooming have further fueled the call for message scanning to protect children.