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Cybersecurity Facebook

Why Is Facebook’s Encrypted Messaging Plan Roiling the Company?

One thing was clear in Chris Cox’s note to Facebook employees announcing his resignation on Thursday: The company’s chief product officer was not enthused about its new focus on building an encrypted, interoperable messaging network. “This will be a big project and we will need leaders who are excited to see the new direction through,” he wrote.

What’s his beef? There are several reasons Facebook’s plans, outlined in an essay by CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week, could have triggered unrest inside the company, most of which were overshadowed by the adulatory public response to Mr. Zuckerberg’s pivot toward a more privacy-minded Facebook.

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While Facebook’s promise to encrypt communications is seen by some as laudable, it could thwart investigations of terrorism, child exploitation and other crimes.