Messenger
Messenger

Expansion of encrypted chats in Messenger reaches more users

What To Know

  • This end-to-end encryption (E2EE) standard, which was first introduced a year ago, will become a standard feature for all users by the conclusion of 2023.
  • While Meta Messenger initially concentrated on implementing full E2EE on WhatsApp, they are now extending the same level of security to Messenger by the end of this year.
  • They elaborated, “We had to not only transition to a new server architecture but also rewrite our code to function across a variety of devices, rather than exclusively on the server.
  • However, it might also attract attention from countries such as Spain, which has advocated for the prohibition of encryption within the European Union, ostensibly to curb the dissemination of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and other illicit activities.

Meta is significantly expanding the encryption feature of Messenger, making it available to “millions more people’s chats” starting today, the company has announced. This end-to-end encryption (E2EE) standard, which was first introduced a year ago, will become a standard feature for all users by the conclusion of 2023. Meta has also provided insights into the complex process behind this transition, describing it as a “highly intricate and demanding engineering challenge.”

The encryption system ensures that conversations remain protected from eavesdropping and interception through the use of public key cryptography. This means that not even law enforcement can access these conversations. Simultaneously, your message history will also be encrypted.

While Meta Messenger initially concentrated on implementing full E2EE on WhatsApp, they are now extending the same level of security to Messenger by the end of this year.

Nonetheless, reaching this point wasn’t without its difficulties. The company explained, “It became evident early on that shifting our services to E2EE would pose an extremely intricate and formidable engineering challenge.” They elaborated, “We had to not only transition to a new server architecture but also rewrite our code to function across a variety of devices, rather than exclusively on the server.”

As an example, Meta illustrated how their servers currently retrieve URL data to display video previews in Messenger chats. However, with E2EE, the app itself visits the shared URL, gathers the pertinent image and text data, and then transmits it.

This may slightly slow down the process, but it guarantees users a comprehensive set of features while maintaining the privacy of encryption.

Meta also shared that they are testing on-device recovery for encrypted chats, necessitating users to establish a PIN or generate a code. Additionally, they are experimenting with an option to save chats on cloud storage platforms like iCloud. Meanwhile, Meta is planning to complete the E2EE integration for Instagram Direct Messages by the end of 2023.

This move will effectively bring the company in line with services like Signal, making end-to-end encryption a mainstream norm. However, it might also attract attention from countries such as Spain, which has advocated for the prohibition of encryption within the European Union, ostensibly to curb the dissemination of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and other illicit activities.

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