Google confirms that end-to-end encryption for group chats is coming soon to its Messages app. A beta test is underway.
Summer 2021. Google began rolling out end-to-end encryption in Messages, its messaging app. Excellent news for the security and confidentiality of exchanges, however upset by a downside. This protection only works on conversations between two people and if all the prerequisites are met.
December 2022. Google begins the shift to add this function in group discussions. The American company announces the news in a blog post dedicated to SMS, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on December 3. A test is set to experiment with end-to-end encryption in multi-party conversations, only on Android for the moment.
End-to-end encryption for everyone, if…
The general deployment of this encryption for group chats is planned for 2023. To take advantage of it, each participant will need to use the Messages application, but also support the RCS (Rich Communications Services) and activate the chat features in the settings. from the program. You must also use Android, because Apple does not (yet?) manage RCS on iOS.
The RCS is seen as the successor to the SMS, a means of communication that has long been unbeatable, but which is now losing ground with the emergence of messaging applications – WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram… In addition, the SMS is not a safe solution. It is impossible, for example, to have end-to-end encryption on it.
Already offered by default for one-to-one discussions, end-to-end encryption for group exchanges will allow Google Messages to be among the applications that best protect private messages. Indeed, if the couriers provide for a large part of them such an option, not all of them activate it as a basis.
Google’s work in this field was spotted in the spring of 2020, after an analysis of certain portions of the source code of a private version of the application. It was in November 2020 that the American company confirmed its intentions.
Google has opted for Messages an already widely recognized and appreciated cryptographic protocol: the Signal protocol. Developed for the Signal application, it has become a reference in services intended for the general public. It is also found in Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and, of course, Google Messages. It has so far never been faulted.