Google today launched a new Chrome extension called End-to-End for sending and receiving emails securely. As its name implies, the security tool provides end-to-end encryption: data leaving your browser will be encrypted until the message’s intended recipient decrypts it, and encrypted messages sent to you will remain that way until you decrypt them in your browser.
It’s worth noting that anyone can use End-to-End to send and receive end-to-end encrypted emails through their existing Web-based email provider. You don’t have to be using Gmail, but you will need Chrome.
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Tools like this already exist, but Google points out they are too complicated to use for most people:
While end-to-end encryption tools like PGP and GnuPG have been around for a long time, they require a great deal of technical know-how and manual effort to use. To help make this kind of encryption a bit easier, we’re releasing code for a new Chrome extension that uses OpenPGP, an open standard supported by many existing encryption tools.
End-to-End is being released as an alpha. It is therefore not on the Chrome Web Store yet, as Google says it is “just sharing the code today so that the community can test and evaluate it, helping us make sure that it’s as secure as it needs to be before people start relying on it.”
Google didn’t provide a date for when to expect a broad release of End-to-End. The company merely says that it will be available in the Chrome Web Store “once we feel that the extension is ready for primetime.”
Google points out that its Vulnerability Reward Program offers financial awards for finding security bugs in Google code, where End-to-End is available. Security researchers, it’s time to get cracking.
See also – Gmail now always uses an HTTPS connection and encrypts all messages moving internally on Google’s servers and Google is reportedly building new Android business features: APIs, enterprise apps, data encryption, and more
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