:: Peoples Time Online ::
Social media platforms based in the U.S. including Facebook and WhatsApp will be forced to share users’ encrypted messages with British police under a new treaty between the two countries, according to a person familiar with the matter.
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.