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Facebook Begins Testing Default End-to-End Encryption on Messenger




Facebook has shared an update on its long-awaited plans to enable end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default on its Messenger chat platform, and began testing the chat’s functionality among a select group of people this week. said.

Facebook currently offers Messenger users the option to enable E2EE for each chat, but such opt-in schemes are generally only adopted by a security-conscious minority. Making end-to-end encryption the default is a big step. Adding a substantial layer of security to the chat platform used by over a billion people worldwide. It could also spark debate with governments who claim E2EE is hindering their ability to fight crime.

End-to-end encryption makes it difficult, if not impossible, for third parties to read your conversations

End-to-end encryption means that Facebook cannot see the content of user messages that only participants can see. This makes it much more difficult (if not impossible) for third parties such as hackers and law enforcement to snoop on digital conversations.

In recent years, Facebook’s parent company Meta has gradually added layers of encryption to its various chat platforms, but these efforts have yet to be unified. WhatsApp chats are encrypted by default using the same protocol provided by Signal, the industry-standard secure messenger. Opt-in encryption for Instagram DMs is currently in testing. Messenger offers his E2EE via the Disappearing Messages feature. (This app previously offered a similar vanish mode, but today’s Facebook update removed it.)

Facebook has been criticized for not making E2EE the default on Messenger. Especially in the wake of the reversal of the Roe v. Wade case in the United States, digital footprints such as app chats will be used as evidence in prosecuting newly criminalized abortion. This was highlighted this week in a case in which Facebook turned over the Messenger chat history of a Nebraska teenager and his mother in response to a police search warrant and was charged with charges related to the state’s existing abortion law. rice field.

Facebook said making E2EE the default would be a daunting task given the scale of the platform.

Facebook has previously said it was slow to make E2EE the default across all chat platforms. The reason for this is the difficulty of integrating such technology into apps used by billions of people, and the need to balance user privacy and safety. In today’s update, the company reiterated that in 2023 he plans to make E2EE the default for all chats and calls on Messenger.

In addition to the new E2EE default test, the company also announced a feature called Secure Storage that encrypts cloud backups of users’ chat history in Messenger.

[W]The company says it’s testing secure storage to back up these messages in case you lose your phone or want to restore your message history on a new supported device. As with end-to-end encrypted chat, secure storage means your messages are inaccessible unless you choose to report them.

Other new features being tested in Messenger include syncing deleted messages across devices. Test the ability to unsend a message. Add encryption to hands-free messages sent on Messenger with the company’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.




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