Monday, March 20, 2023

Twitter Seemingly Working on End-to-End Encryption for Direct Messages, Elon Musk Teases Confirmation

Twitter appears to be working on bringing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for direct messages. The social media platform had previously tested out this feature in 2018, however, it never made the final cut. Twitter has experienced a tumultuous time under the new leadership of Elon Musk who fired half of the company’s 7,000-plus employees in a bid to make Twitter “much more engineering-driven.” It is unclear when E2EE will be launched as the company’s current focus appears to lie on the relaunch of Twitter Blue on November 29.

Researcher Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) spotted a line of code in the Twitter for Android app that might indicate that E2EE for direct messages is in the works. Notably, Elon Musk has replied to the original tweet by Wong with a winking emoji seemingly confirming that this feature is in development.

Musk had previously championed the idea of ​​Twitter offering E2EE for messages. The social media platform was testing a ‘secret conversation’ feature back in 2018, as per a past report. Wong had claimed that Twitter was working on options for showing users a tutorial about encrypted messaging and starting a secret conversation. In addition, there was said to be an option to view the encryption of both parties for verifying a secure connection.

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There is no official date set for the arrival of the E2EE feature as Twitter appears to focus on the relaunch of Twitter Blue. The subscription service brings alterations to the platform’s blue check verification. The feature had initially allowed users to change their account name after purchasing the verification that led to several fake accounts impersonating high-profile personalities and companies. The resulting commotion on the platform forced Twitter to restore the ‘official’ label for the time being.

According to a recent report, Twitter employees have been publicly critical of Musk for his leadership. He has also seemingly doubled down asking Twitter employees to click on a link confirming that “you want to be part of the new Twitter” by Thursday evening. Outliers will reportedly be asked to take a severance package of three months’ pay while the remaining have to commit to “working long hours at high intensity.”

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