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Twitter Drops Direct Message Encryption Program

Chris L

So much for sticking it to The Man…

Twitter’s most private of all things—the direct message—was reportedly going to undergo some changes when Twitter announced they would start encrypting the private messages between users.  This was mostly in response to keeping the messages extremely private due to hackers and snooping from the NSA, which is a good thing.  Well, now apparently that plan has been scrapped, which is a bad thing.

twitter dm encryption

Twitter’s encrypted direct messages

So, yeah—Twitter initially wanted to encrypt the direct messages between users because nobody can have nice things on the Internet nowadays without the NSA being all, “Lemme see!  Lemme see!” like they’re a small child who can’t let the other kids have fun with their toys.  Twitter was notoriously against the NSA and their snooping actions, going so far as to give the NSA and PRISM a big “NOPE” when they requested information on users. 

The began working on encrypting the direct messages back in November, right around the time the Snowden leaks came to light, and then suddenly the project was dropped completely.  The Verge reports that even employees were befuddled at why the project was stopped without notice. 

I mean, Twitter has been pretty wishy-washy with their direct messaging service recently.  A few months ago they allowed everyone to direct message any other user, but then quickly went back on it after people decided that was a horrible idea.  It was a pretty bad idea, but the fact remains that direct messages aren’t really all that important to Twitter, given that their bread-and-butter is the actual Tweet itself.

So it comes as no surprise that they would go back on encrypting direct messages, especially when they have bigger fish to fry—like monetizing in the face of a gigantic IPO that hasn’t been doing too well, ya know, because they’re not making nearly enough money. 

Hopefully they get it under control and decide to restart the program, because I’m all for encryption for security purposes and to throw a middle finger to THE MAN.

[The Verge]

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