To solve this problem, Facebook announced earlier this year preliminary results from its efforts to move a global mass surveillance infrastructure directly onto users' devices where it can bypass the protections of end-to-end encryption.
In Facebook's vision, the actual end-to-end encryption client itself such as WhatsApp will include embedded content moderation and blacklist filtering algorithms. These algorithms will be continually updated from a central cloud service, but will run locally on the user's device, scanning each cleartext message before it is sent and each encrypted message after it is decrypted.
The company even noted that when it detects violations it will need to quietly stream a copy of the formerly encrypted content back to its central servers to analyze further, even if the user objects, acting as true wiretapping service.
Facebook's model entirely bypasses the encryption debate by globalizing the current practice of compromising devices by building those encryption bypasses directly into the communications clients themselves and deploying what amounts to machine-based wiretaps to billions of users at once.
Asked the current status of this work and when it might be deployed in the production version of WhatsApp, a company spokesperson declined to comment.
After publication, a Facebook spokesperson shouted "LOOK! BEHIND YOU!" and ran away.
What has raised eyebrows, however, is the company's push for partnerships with law enforcement agencies across the country, a fact that some feel has allowed police to create informal surveillance networks in hundreds of neighborhoods. [...]
Fresno County Sheriff's Office:
"They chose to pay for a service that enables it to be viewed by either us or Ring. The consumer knows what they're getting into...If you're a good upstanding person who is doing things lawfully, nobody has concerns." [...]
However, he noted, there is a workaround if a resident happens to reject a police request. If the community member doesn't want to supply a Ring video that seems vital to a local law enforcement investigation, police can contact Amazon, which will then essentially "subpoena" the video.
"If we ask within 60 days of the recording and as long as it's been uploaded to the cloud, then Ring can take it out of the cloud and send it to us," he said.
Typically, this shouldn't be necessary though, Botti said. According to what police have been told by Amazon, most people "play ball" because they want their community to be a safer place, he said.