UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has sent an open letter to Facebook calling on the firm to rethink its plans to encrypt all messages on its platforms.

The policy threatens “lives and the safety of our children”, she said.

She feels it could hamper international efforts to grant law enforcers faster access to private messages on social media, as agreed between the UK and US.

Facebook said: “We believe people have the right to have a private conversation online.”

The head of Facebook-owned WhatsApp Will Cathcart posted on Hacker News: “End-to-end encryption protects that right for over a billion people every day.”

He added that he was not aware of “discussions that would force us to change our product”.

Facebook said it is “consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and

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