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U.S. judge keeps documents secret in Facebook encryption case

U.S. judge keeps documents secret in Facebook encryption case. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday rejected a bid by two civil rights groups that had sought to force the release of documents describing a secret U.S. government effort to compel Facebook Inc to decrypt voice conversations between users on its Messenger app. The issue arose in a joint federal and state investigation into activities of the MS-13 gang in Fresno, California, revolving around the end-to-end encryption Facebook uses to protect calls on its Messenger service from interception. Both the Justice Department and Facebook's arguments in response to the ACLU were themselves kept secret. However, O'Neill wrote that Facebook supported the ACLU's requests to unseal, with limited redactions, while the government opposed them. Neither U.S. prosecutors nor Facebook have commented publicly about the Messenger case because of a court gag order. But Reuters reported last year that investigators failed in a courtroom effort to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger voice calls.

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