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Twitter Launches End-to-End Encrypted Direct Messages For Verified Users

Twitter Launches End-to-End Encrypted Direct Messages For Verified Users

Twitter has launched end-to-end encrypted direct messages for verified users.

The service will be available for users subscribed to Twitter Blue, verified organizations, and affiliates of verified organizations.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has said that he wants the direct messaging standard to be that if someone puts a gun to his head, he still can’t access a user's messages.

"We’re not quite there yet, but we’re working on it," Twitter said in the announcement of the new feature. "Until then, here is the Encrypted Direct Message we are releasing - a new way of communicating on Twitter that will appear as separate conversations, alongside your existing Direct Messages in your inbox."

To use the new feature, both people in the conversation must have the latest version of the Twitter app and be eligible for encryption.

The platform will then generate a pair of device-specific keys — public and private.

"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," the announcement explained. "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."

"We 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," the company's explanation continued.

The company said that if you are eligible to send encrypted messages, you will see a toggle after clicking on the message icon to enable “encrypted” mode. You can also send an encrypted message through the conversation settings page of an unencrypted conversation.

To visually differentiate encrypted conversations from those that are not, the encrypted convos will have a lock icon badge on the avatar of the person you are speaking to.

Encrypted messages can only be sent to a single recipient, but Twitter said it would soon roll out the option for group conversations.

Media and other attachments are not supported in the current encrypted messages.

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