Twitter is developing end-to-end encrypted DMs

Twitter has an unlaunched ‘Secret’ encrypted messages feature		
		
	Josh Constine

       @	   
   	12 hours

Twitter has an unlaunched ‘Secret’ encrypted messages feature Josh Constine @ 12 hours

By planning this feature, it shows that Twitter is serious about privacy.

Twitter uses an industry standard hashing function known as bcrypt to mask users' passwords after you make an account, replacing the actual text with random numbers and letters. Until now, that is.

But without enabling the encryption, those messages were subjected to prying from hackers, governments, and Twitter itself. The feature was first discovered in Twitter's APK by Jane Manchung Wong (via TechCrunch), although Twitter is yet to confirm it.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for such a feature on the platform a year ago. Along with that, there's an option to initiate a new encrypted conversation and one more option to verify the encryption keys of those participating in the conversation.

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WhatsApp, a pun on the phrase "What's up?,' grew in popularity in part because its encrypted messages are stored on users" smartphones and not on company servers, making the service more private. Twitter's DM became immensely popular as it enabled people to send messages without their phone numbers or email addresses. It's a quick way for journalists to communicate with sources privately, for instance.

Twitter isn't the first mainstream service to introduce end-to-end encryption for its messages. That's probably why Snowden, a champion of data privacy, wants Twitter to implement encryption.

By design, Twitter is a public platform for sharing your thoughts - as long as they are 280 characters or less, that is. Instant messaging app WhatsApp also uses "end-to-end encryption" while this can be opted into Messenger, as well.

This feature could be useful for those people willing to send sensitive information via Twitter but are forced to use the likes of Signal to do it. Facebook-owned WhatsApp already provides end-to-end encryption. As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!