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Is Twitter bringing back end-to-end encryption to DMs?

Twitter seems to be bringing back E2E encryption to its messaging service after abruptly halting similar plans earlier.

What’s new: “Twitter is bringing back end-to-end [E2E] encryption DMs,” tweeted Jane Manchun Wong, an independent security researcher, on November 16, 2022. While Elon Musk acknowledged the tweet, he did not explicitly confirm the news, posting only a winky eye emoji in response. https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1592831263182028800 Earlier, Twitter had talked about bringing in the encrypted ‘Secret conversations’ feature. However, the project halted with no public explanation as to why, said Tech Crunch. Now, the feature seems to be back along with a “Conversation key,” as per Wong’s screenshots. The key is a number generated by the user’s encryption keys from the conversation. It guarantees E2E encryption if the key matches the number in the recipient’s phone. Why it matters: Platforms claiming privacy measures like Signal and WhatsApp highlight their use of E2E encryption. Earlier, Musk tweeted about competing with apps like Signal by saying, “The goal of Twitter DMs is to superset Signal.” In this respect, installing encryption seems like a step in the right direction. However, child safety experts have in the past warned that such encryption may allow unhindered interaction between a minor and a predator. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1590426255018848256 E2E encryption makes everyone safer: Despite the concerns around encryption, Fight for the Future (FftF), a digital human rights organisation, hailed the idea of E2E encryption for Twitter DMs. “Pregnant people, LBGTQ+ people, activists, immigrants, and journalists all benefit enormously from encrypted messaging. It protects you from police surveillance, stalkers, your creepy ex, and identity thieves who might hack into your messages,” said…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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