Finally ! Messenger adds encryption to group chats, 6 years late

Six years after individual chats, Messenger is finally expanding secret encrypted conversations to group chats.

The wait was very long, but this time it’s here: secret encrypted conversations in Messenger are available for group chats. Meta (ex-Facebook) has finally standardized the use of end-to-end encryption in its instant messaging. The social network announced the good news in a message on January 27, 2022.

Until now, secret conversations on Messenger were only accessible for individual exchanges. This mode, which is not yet offered by default, has existed in the application since 2016. We measure the temporal delta with the announcement of the community site at the end of January. Almost six years have passed to achieve this technical catch-up.

Messenger has been offering secret chats since 2016. In 2022, this mode is finally offered for group discussions. // Source: Facebook

What is meant by “secret conversation” refers to the use of end-to-end encryption as a method of protection. The goal is to hide the content of the messages through complex mathematical operations, so that only people with legitimate access to the conversation, thanks to a set of keys, can read it.

Without the decryption key, the messages are unreadable: intercepting them is therefore useless. In principle, no third party outside the conversation can read what is exchanged. This also applies to the service provider, Messenger. Only the peripheral information, such as the identity of the sender, the sending schedule, the weight of the message, are visible.

The extension of secret conversations to group discussions was a goal that Messenger had already made public many months ago: the group had, for example, talked about it in August 2021. At the time, a director in charge of products at the social network evoked tests between people already in contact or for conversations with several already in place.

Messenger makes secret chats more enjoyable

In the process, Messenger made more general improvements to this mode of discussion, so as to make it more user-friendly.

Thus, it is now possible to specifically reply to a message in a secret conversation, by quoting it (and therefore by making a copy of it in the discussion). The famous animated suspension points which indicate that your interlocutor is typing a message are also present.

The tool has also become more user-friendly, with the possibility of using stickers or animated images (GIF) in secret, individual or group conversations. In doing so, Messenger brings this version of the app more in line with the more common one, which already has all that, but does not provide end-to-end encryption by default.

On the security side, the application will also notify more (it already did, but partially, in certain circumstances) when your correspondent takes a screenshot within an end-to-end encrypted conversation — this type of notification was already offered with ephemeral messages, in order to warn of possible misuse.

For further

Source: Facebook

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