Google finally rolls out end-to-end encryption in Messages

After several months of experimentation, Google announces that the deployment of end-to-end encryption in its Messages app will take place this summer.

The work launched by Google more than a year ago now, to increase the security level of its Messages application, is coming to an end. American company let know since June 15, 2021 that its instant messaging system will accommodate end-to-end encryption for written conversations over the summer, so as to make them unreadable for those who are not part of it.

End-to-end encryption in Messages helps keep your conversations secure while sending. It ensures that no one can read the content of your messages as they flow between your phone and that of the person you are sending a message to », We read on a page presenting the functionality. A video was also produced on this topic and uploaded to YouTube.

To take advantage of this feature, however, several prerequisites must be met: each person in the conversation must use Google Messages as an instant messaging application and activate the chat features in the software settings. If all is well, then an icon symbolizing a closed padlock will appear on the screen, indicating that end-to-end encryption is active.

The only notable limitation, which should be lifted soon: end-to-end encryption is only offered for conversations between two people, not for group discussions. There is no reason to believe that Google Messages cannot take this extra step, as WhatsApp or Signal do very well.

The Signal application uses a cryptographic protocol which is used today in many services. // Source: Signal

Choice of Signal protocol

Google’s work in this area for Messages began to become known during the spring of 2020, following the analysis of certain portions of the source code of a version of the mobile app that was not intended for the public. . In November 2020, the experiments of the American company proving clearly conclusive, it was announced the upcoming deployment of end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption was already partially available on Messages for beta testers, since last November.

It should be noted that Google, in providing a more detailed explanation of end-to-end encryption, refrained from developing its own cryptographic protocol. In the technical guidelines, the American company explains that it has retained the Signal protocol, which is the benchmark in end-to-end encryption for the general public: it is already used in Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and, of course, Signal.

Related Articles