MICROBLOGGING WEBSITE Twitter is testing an encrypted Direct Messages feature in a bid to make it a more secure place to carry out sensitive comms.
The feature, dubbed 'Secret conversation', now isn't quite so secret thanks to TechCrunch. It reports that the encrypted DMs feature was first spotted inside Twitter's Android APK by computer science student Jane Manchun Wong, a sign that the firm is trialling the feature before making it publicly available.
A screenshot (below) shows that the feature will - if it sees a widespread release - allow users to start a "secret conversation" in Twitter DMs, and view both your own and your conversation partner's encryption keys to verify a secure connection.
Such functionality would put the social network on par with secure messaging apps like Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp, and would come at a time where people are more reluctant to use Facebook Messenger following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Twitter is working on End-to-End Encrypted Secret DM! pic.twitter.com/2lLr5i1p42— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 4, 2018
In a separate tweet, Wong notes that she has also spotted a new option for using FIDO U2F security keys for two-factor authentication, along with a new 'Quality Filter' that rids of low-quality search results on the social network.
Twitter might support using FIDO U2F security key as in-app login verification pic.twitter.com/cDhkRgn7ri— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 8, 2018
Twitter declined to comment on the report, so it's not yet known when the company will, if at all, make the Secret conversations functionality available to all.
However, as noted by TechCrunch, the testing of the feature comes 18 months after Edward Snowden appealed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to bring a more secure, whistler-blower friendly messaging system to the site, to which Dorsey responded: "Reasonable and something we'll think about." µ
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