Attorney General William Barr has been very busy lately getting to the bottom of the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign and trying to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election.
Barr and the prosecutor running the investigation, John H. Durham, just shifted into a criminal inquiry and that means corrupt Obama-era officials could be held accountable.
This has already infuriated Democrats, but Barr is ramming ahead with another move that liberals are already fuming over.
Barr sent Facebook a letter recently asking the social media giant to reconsider an action it was taking, and Democrats ripped the attorney general for using “false pretense” to make his request, according to The Washington Times.
Facebook announced it would be using end-to-end encryption to secure the communications of people who use the company’s Instagram and Messenger apps. Facebook says their goal is to protect user data from hackers and other outside interests.
Barr is taking the stance that end-to-end encryption would make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for authorities to track down criminals.
The AG specifically noted authorities catching child sex abusers who use social media to stalk their prey, which is primarily younger and vulnerable kids.
Barr said he’s not necessarily against the data being protected, but that the federal government would like to see some type of backdoor access for law enforcement when needed.
“By enabling dangerous criminals to cloak their communications and activities behind an essentially impenetrable digital shield, the deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society,” Barr said.
Democrats argued in their response that Barr is using child abusers as a way to have the government work its way into user data.
According to Democrats, having access to this information will not help the fight against this problem in any substantive way.
Democrats sent a letter regarding Barr’s request, stating: “This proposal will not meaningfully address the problem of CSAI, because illegal content will simply move to the dark web…while exposing millions of law-abiding Americans to new cybersecurity threats from stalkers, hackers and other criminals.
They went on: “We urge you to stop demanding that private companies purposefully weaken their encryption for the false pretense of protecting children.”
Facebook responded to Barr by saying it does not approve of backdoor government access and believes private conversations should be kept private.
Democrats and Facebook seemed to have misinterpreted what Barr was saying.
Barr didn’t say he was against protecting user data.
Instead, he clearly stated that the added encryption would prevent authorities from cracking down on the spread of child sexual abuse imagery (CSAI).
He also called for tech companies to design their platforms in a way that ensures law enforcement officials are able to access the contents of users’ communications when investigating alleged criminal activity.