Sarah Jamie Lewis
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SarahJamieLewis Executive Director @OpenPriv. Enforcing Consent & Resisting Surveillance with Cryptography. Vegan Lesbian, Queer Anarchist. Donate: Jan. 25, 2019 2 min read

Facebook are going to monetize encrypted messaging by consolidating metadata analysis of 3 key platforms (Messenger, Whatsapp & Instagram). They will make money by tracking your relationships and social groups. They will make that information easily accessible to law enforcement.

They will build the largest surveillance system ever conceived and will sell it under the banner of consumer encryption.

They will say that this delivers on the dream of secure usable communication that balances privacy, security and law enforcement.

We @OpenPriv believe that your social connections, friendship groups and patterns of life should not be monetized or sold for profit. We believe that actual privacy and security must protect metadata as well as content.

Sex Workers and Queer People are already facing the wrath of Facebook's metadata collection. Facebook already puts them in danger by outing them to people it assumes they know, allow them to be directly targeted, and directly censored, based on assumed associations.

When we celebrate Facebook bringing end to end encryption to millions more people we miss the forest for the trees.

The point of all this isn't accessible privacy it's inaccessible surveillance.

We, @OpenPriv, are building Cwtch, a metadata resistant communication tool, ( ) as a non-profit because we *know* that you can't protect the most marginalized people in society AND also make money.

We will be releasing an alpha of Cwtch on February 14th.

Facebook is not a secure space for sex workers and queer people. What happens when the current content policies and moderation capabilities are extended and augmented by metadata analysis from private chat apps?

What happens when Facebook is forced by a conservative government to hand over group relationships of groups it has categorized as "interested in sex work" all wrapped up with a Facebook augmented social graph.

What kind of world do you think we are actually building?

This isn't a conspiracy theory. This is just how the world works today extrapolated into the future - with optimism that things don't get worse.

Spoiler alert: Things are going to get worse.

The truth is that there are way worse scenarios to confront if we assume that 1 corporation is going to own and operate the largest, encrypted communication network ever.

A few months ago I wrote a position paper for a conference on the future of cybersecurity and the same points apply to this. We need surveillance resistant tech. 

Facebook isn't a public utility, they are a corporation that needs to make money, and the way they make money is through surveillance.

You get to decided if you want to be part of their economy.

To undercut myself a little - the vast majority of you likely have nothing to lose by being part of the economy. For many it will likely be much better.

For those of us who experience systemic oppression, those of us who know the harms of surveillance, can see what is coming.

With the exception of the particular NYTimes article that confirmed some of these future Facebook plans, nothing I have said in this thread is new, the risks aren't new, the concerns aren't new.

This thread isn't a warning, it is a reminder.

You can follow @SarahJamieLewis.


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