When Elon Musk joined Twitter late last year after acquiring it for $44 billion, he said the social media network will bring encrypted DMs to the platform among other features.
It has taken several months for that feature to launch and like the rest of the features he has launched since then, the new privacy feature is deeply flawed.
One of the major weaknesses is that the encryption is not end-to-end which means government bodies or malicious actors can still access your DMs which beats the whole purpose. The company is transparent about this flaw saying that they’re still working on that part.
Another issue is that encrypted DMs are not enabled by default – it’s an opt-in feature like on Facebook Messenger. This feature doesn’t allow for group messaging, or sending photos or videos.
Twitter has also only allowed Blue users access to this feature which means you have to pay an $8 subscription fee.
The toggle is available on the chat screen for senders. Encrypted messages will have a lock badge and the chat will have a banner at the top written “Messages are encrypted”
Another limitation is that you can’t use a new device for current encrypted messages. Twitter has limited this feature to only 10 devices and you can remove a device you no longer use. There’s no key backup option as well.
The social media company also won’t delete private keys when you log out from a device.
Twitter didn’t mention which protocol they are using for their encryption feature.
Other messaging platforms have better privacy as they use the Signal encryption protocol and perfect examples include Signal, WhatsApp, and Messenger(when you opt-in with the Secret Conversations feature). They are all free to use.
Signal encryption protocol ensures perfect forward secrecy and prevents man-in-the-middle attacks
Messaging app Telegram uses a less secure MTProto which is a custom-made encryption protocol for its Secret Chats feature.
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