Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

What's Up With WhatsApp's Child Porn Encryption Problem?

Facebook had some good news and some bad news about WhatsApp, but the bad news was disgusting.

WhatsApp, a messaging app that works on Facebook, is being used to spread child pornography. According to reports, the app includes links to users trading images of children being sexually exploited.

Before the report, there was some good news for the Facebook app. But really? Now?

Child Exploitation

Third-party researchers said the disturbing content is "slipping by WhatsApp's automated systems." The problem stems from encryption.

Chat groups with names like "child porn only no adv" and "child porn xvideos" showed up on a group discovery app called "Group Links for Whats." TechCrunch said Facebook could do more to police the app than rely on encryption.

"Even without technical solutions that would require a weakening of encryption, WhatsApp's moderators should have been able to find these groups and put a stop to them," Josh Constine wrote.

TechCrunch published the third-party research, along with a police report. They were "uncovering a nightmare," the ezine said.

WhatsApp Cryptocurrency

Meanwhile, Facebook is apparently planning to transfer cryptocurrency through WhatsApp.

Bloomberg reported that the social media giant is developing "stablecoin" -- a digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar. Facebook will start with small payments in India.

Facebook did not comment in either report. So yeah.

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