Facebook has said it is close to completing end-to-end encryption across its network to put an end to government snooping.
The social network’s head of security infrastructure, Gregg Stefancik, said his team “wear tin foil hats”, a term used to describe government-fearing conspiracy theorists.
He told journalists during a visit to Australia that Facebook was working on making all of its communications secure but admitted: “We’re not completely there yet.”
“We’ve prioritised encrypting the traffic that is most sensitive at Facebook, and we’re working aggressively to get to the point where we can tell you we’ll have it all encrypted between datacentres,” he added.
Mr Stefancik said revelations by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden “validated a lot of the things we knew we needed to protect against”.
“Encrypting data and exchanges over our private leased lines is something that’s on our roadmap and something we were working on pre-Snowden,” he said.
“We like encryption because it’s mathematically strong. We understand its properties (and) it’s easier to control but, that said, it’s really hard to deploy.
“It’s not like we wake up one morning and flip a switch. It has performance implications (and) there are still compatibility issues between devices.”
The Australian government has proposed Facebook and other social networks should be legally required to assist with decrypting encrypted files.
But Mr Stefancik said: “Handing over encryption keys is something we’d fight.”
He also reassured users that Facebook’s app is not listening into or storing conversations.
Concerns were raised after a new opt-in feature was rolled out, allowing Android and iOS users to identify TV and music instantly.