Twitter released another new feature, encrypted DMs for Twitter Blue users, will open source it later this year

    It seems every other week Twitter is releasing new features to the platform. While this one certainly isn’t new to the industry, it is an important addition to the platform.

    Elon Musk has announced that an Early Version of Encrypted Direct Messages has just launched.

    In the tweet, he suggests users try it, but not to trust it just yet.

    How does it work?

    To try it out, you’ll need the latest version of Twitter apps (iOS, Android, Web) to generate a pair of device-specific keys, called private and public key pair. The public key is automatically registered when a user logs into Twitter on a new device or browser;  the private key never leaves the device and therefore is never communicated to Twitter.

    In addition to the private-public key pairs, there is a per-conversation key that is used to encrypt the content of messages. The private-public key pairs are used to exchange the conversation key securely between participating devices.

    Twitter says they employ a combination of strong cryptographic schemes to encrypt every single message, link, and reaction that are part of an encrypted conversation before they leave the sender’s device, and remain encrypted while stored on Twitter’s infrastructure. Once messages are received by the recipient devices, they are decrypted so that they can be read by the user.

    As part of the new Help page, Twitter announced they will open source their implementation and describe the technology in depth through a technical whitepaper later this year.

    Encrypted DMs are only available when both the sender and recipient are verified users or affiliates to a verified organization.

    An encrypted message can only include text and links; media and other attachments are not supported yet.

    These encrypted conversations are restricted to one device, as new devices cannot join existing encrypted conversations.

    You can find more information on Twitter Engineering’s ‘About Encrypted Direct Messages‘ page.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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