As FBI Director Christopher Wray brief's Congress Thursday, one major point made is that Facebook's new decision to move to end-to-end encryption in their messenger platform will mean the FBI will lose as many as 20 million tips about child exploitation.
According to testimony in his statement, Wray said that "since the vital tips we receive from providers only arrive when those providers themselves are able to detect and report child exploitation being facilitated on their platforms and services. They cannot do that when their platforms are end-to-end encrypted."
The example he provided is in comparing Facebook Messenger to Apple's iMessage. "While Facebook Messenger and Apple iMessage each boasts over one billion users, in 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received over 20 million tips from Facebook, compared to 265 tips from Apple, according to NCMEC data and publicly available information."
Apple's encryption blocks anyone from abusive material being transferred through the services
"When we are able to open investigations, end-to-end and user-only-access encryption makes it much more difficult to bring perpetrators to justice," the statement explained.