Facebook Considering Optional End-to-End Encryption for Messenger

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facebook-messenger-logoFacebook is planning to introduce an optional end-to-end encryption mode for its Facebook Messenger chat platform, currently used by more than 900 million people, reports The Guardian.

Citing sources "close to the project," The Guardian says the encryption will be an opt-in feature because turning it on will impact some of the new machine learning features being built into the Messenger app like chat bots. Google's upcoming "Allo" messaging app also offers an opt-in end-to-end encryption option it calls "incognito mode."

Many major technology companies have taken a stronger stance on privacy, embracing end-to-end encryption following Apple's standoff with the FBI. Earlier this year, the FBI demanded Apple unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook by bypassing Apple's own passcode security features.

Apple refused, and the FBI eventually found an alternate way to access the iPhone, but the dispute has scared technology companies into bolstering security. Dozens of major technology companies supported Apple during its fight with the FBI, all of whom were concerned about the precedent the FBI's demand could set.

Popular Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp enabled full end-to-end encryption in April, and in March, Swiss software developer Proton Technologies released ProtonMail, an email app offering end-to-end encryption. Apple is also rumored to be working on enhanced security measures for its software and hardware, and apps like Telegram Messenger have grown in popularity.

It is not clear exactly when Facebook might introduce new encryption options for Messenger, but the feature is said to be planned "in the coming months." Facebook declined to comment on the rumor, saying it does not respond to rumor and speculation.

Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago
iMessage should be crossplatform.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
Same for contacting with people from China. They all use wechat, then if you want to contact them, you will eventually need to register wechat whatsoever.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

No thanks to Facebook Messenger that requires it's own stand alone app for smart devices. Don't really care about how secure it can be.

Seems like a fairly good option for those that might mostly/often use it to communicate with others and don't really care about the Facebook aspect/portion of it as much.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
You should've mentioned the best messaging app ever.

Threema.

Nothing beats it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
Facebook might be evil, and the app may very well be listening to my most intimate conversations but I'll be damned if I haven't needed to get in contact with someone (but not had their number) and used Facebook messenger, since I don't give everyone I know my number but I'll "friend" small aquaintences on Facebook. Makes sense to keep adding these call, pay, and encryption features.

The Machine is good at what they're doing, y'all. Just sit back and be the sheep you already are anyway. *baa baa*
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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