WhatsApp, Facebook will have to share suspects’ messages with British police: Report

  • News Desk, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-09-29 00:25:55 BdST

An illustration photo shows a man holding a smart phone with a Facebook logo as its screen wallpaper in front of a WhatsApp messenger logo, in Zenica February 20, 2014. Reuters

WhatsApp, Facebook and other US-based social media platforms will have to share encrypted messages from suspected terrorists, paedophiles and other serious criminals with the British police under a new deal between the two countries, according to reports.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel will sign the agreement next month, The Times reported on Saturday.

The data access agreement marks the culmination of four years of intense lobbying by the UK, according to the report.

It is “seen by Downing Street as an essential tool in the fight against terrorism and sexual abuse”, The Times said.

Currently police are only able to access social media messages if there is an immediate threat to life in an “emergency disclosure”, according to the Daily Mail.

Police and prosecutors can also ask to see social media data under the “mutual legal assistance” treaty but that can take up to two years, the newspaper said.