The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on May 8, 2018

Twitter might soon slide encryption into your DMs

Twitter might soon slide encryption into your DMs Image by: IconBug

Twitter’s Direct Messages feature is good for privately contacting people on your timeline, but it’s not entirely secure, as the contents of your correspondence could be accessed by hackers who can breach Twitter’s network, or by governments who coerce the company to release them for investigations.

Now, TechCrunch reports that a fix might be on its way: a peek into an installer for Twitter’s Android app revealed a ‘Secret conversation’ feature with encryption keys – indicating that the company might be planning to launch encrypted DMs soon. Its spokesperson has declined to comment, so we don’t yet know whether the feature is presently being tested with some users, and when it’ll launch globally.

Screenshots from Twitter's Android app showing the 'Secret conversation' feature along with encryption keys; discovered by Jane Manchun Wong
Credit: Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) / TechCrunch
Screenshots from Twitter’s Android app showing the ‘Secret conversation’ feature along with encryption keys; discovered by Jane Manchun Wong

As you can see in the screenshot above from APK sleuth Jane Machun Wong, there are options to start a ‘secret conversation,’ as well as to view the encryption keys for you and your recipient, so you can verify that your communication is truly secure.

Whether you’re a whistleblower, a citizen journalist with sensitive information, or just someone who values their privacy when messaging folks on Twitter, it’d certainly be nice to see the platform updated with this feature.

Bringing encryption to DMs would make it easier to securely contact people without having to share contact details like your phone number; since Twitter doesn’t encode its messages this way, you’re presently better off using services like Signal.

The Next Web’s 2018 conference is just a few weeks away, and it’ll be ??. Find out all about our tracks here.

Also tagged with