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Facebook recently handed over direct messages between a mom and her teenage daughter to police. Now they’re being prosecuted under the state’s anti-abortion law. In an increasingly dangerous world, there’s one simple thing every messaging platform must do right now: make our messages safe using end-to-end encryption.

Here’s what you need to know:

You might think all your direct messages on Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter are private, between you and your friends or family – but they aren’t.

  • Most platforms don’t use end-to-end encryption to protect your messages by default. Without this security, platforms can access your messages and share them with police; hackers can also access them; even employees at Twitter can poke through your inbox.

  • It’s awful to think that the DMs between the teenager and her mom in Nebraska would have been safe if only they had used a default end-to-end encrypted platform like WhatsApp.

  • We can fix this. If enough people demand companies make end-to-end encryption the default, all of our messages can be protected. Facebook is already looking at this for Messenger, it’s been discussed at Twitter; and WhatsApp and Signal are already encrypted by default.

  • This is not a new problem.The reproductive rights of groups such as Indigenous, Black, and disabled people have been violated and oppressed for decades. Now, that violence is being amplified, with dozens of states considering laws criminalizing all kinds of activities—not just getting an abortion but helping a friend get one, helping someone access abortion pills, and even just sharing information about how to get an abortion. States are also criminalizing gender-affirming healthcare and other acts of bodily autonomy. All of these repressive laws will be prosecuted using unencrypted messages.

End-to-end encryption makes everyone safer.Pregnant people, LBGTQ+ people, activists, immigrants, and journalists all benefit enormously from encrypted messaging. It protects you from police surveillance, stalkers, your creepy ex, and identity thieves who might hack into your messages. Everyone should have safe places to communicate with friends and loved ones online.

Sign the letter now: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Google and any company with a messaging platform must implement default end-to-end encryption immediately.

Follow @fightforthefuture on Mastodon, Twitter and Instagram

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