Reader wiredmikey writes: Facebook announced Friday it would roll out optional “end to end encryption” for its Messenger application, following a trend aimed at stronger security and protection against snooping. The new feature will be known as “secret conversations” which can be read only by the sender and recipient. Facebook shared technical details about its implementation of the security in a technical white paper (PDF). Facebook earlier this year began implementing this end-to-end encryption on its WhatsApp messaging service.ZDNet’s Zack Whittaker, however, warns about a catch in Facebook’s effort. He writes: But already the company has faced some criticism for not encrypting messages by default, instead making the service opt-in, like Apple’s iMessage, or even Facebook’s other chat app, WhatsApp, which recently switched on default end-to-end encryption earlier this year. Cryptographer and Johns Hopkins professor Matthew Green, who reviewed an early version of the system, said in a tweet that though you “have to turn on encryption per thread,” he added that providing encryption to almost a billion people makes it hard to “put that genie back in the bottle.”
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