EFF, ACLU Petition Court To Unseal Documents From DOJ's Latest Anti-Encryption Efforts
Back in August, the DOJ headed to court, hoping to obtain some of that sweet sweet anti-encryption precedent. Focusing on an MS-13 gang conspiracy, the DOJ demanded Facebook break encryption on private Messenger messages and phone calls so the government could eavesdrop. Facebook responded by saying it couldn’t do that without altering — i.e., breaking — Messenger’s underlying structure.
Their request ended in a demurral by the federal court. Currently, the details of the court’s decision are unknown.
Today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, EFF, the ACLU, and Riana Pfefferkorn of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society sought to shed light on this important issue. The Wiretap Act is written to cover companies that have the ability to monitor communications traveling over their networks, like traditional phone companies. Facebook, however, likely cannot decrypt encrypted Messenger texts and voice calls. EFF, the ACLU, and Stanford are asking the court to release all court orders and related materials in the sealed Messenger case.