Attorney General Bill Barr is squaring off against Facebook (FB) - Get Report over its use of encryption. 

Barr is requesting that Facebook delay adding end-to-end encryption across its messaging products, an initiative it announced earlier this year. Facebook shares closed 2.74% higher on Thursday to $179.38.

In a letter due to be published on Friday, Barr asked Facebook to halt the encryption work until it can guarantee "no reduction to user safety" and "a means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens." WhatsApp messages are already encrypted, and Facebook plans to expand that to its other messaging products. 

"Companies cannot operate with impunity where lives and the safety of our children is at stake, and if Mr. Zuckerberg really has a credible plan to protect Facebook's more than two billion users it's time he let us know what it is," said Barr's letter, which was published in part in the WSJ on Thursday. 

Facebook shot back at Barr's request, writing in a statement on Thursday: "We strongly oppose government attempts to build back doors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere."

Save 57% During Our Fall Sale. Join Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS investment club to become a smarter investor. Click here to sign up and save!

Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer'sAction Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.