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Twitter has an unlaunched ‘Secret’ encrypted messages feature


Twitter has an unlaunched ‘Secret’ encrypted messages feature – TechCrunch

Buried inside Twitter’s Android app is a “Secret conversation” option that if launched would allow users to send encrypted direct messages. The feature could make Twitter a better home for sensitive communications that often end up on encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp.

The encrypted DMs option was first spotted inside the Twitter for Android application package (APK) by Jane Manchun Wong. APKs often contain code for unlaunched features that companies are quietly testing or will soon make available. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the record. It’s unclear how long it might be before Twitter officially launches the feature, but at least we know it’s been built.

The appearance of encrypted DMs comes 18 months after whistleblower Edward Snowden asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for the feature, which Dorsey said was “reasonable and something we’ll think about.”

Twitter has gone from “thinking about” the feature to prototyping it. The screenshot above shows the options to learn more about encrypted messaging, start a secret conversation and view both your own and your conversation partner’s encryption keys to verify a secure connection.

Twitter’s DMs have become a powerful way for people to contact strangers without needing their phone number or email address. Whether it’s to send a reporter a scoop, warn someone of a problem, discuss business or just “slide into their DMs” to flirt, Twitter has established one of the most open messaging mediums. But without encryption, those messages are subject to snooping by governments, hackers or Twitter itself.

Twitter has long positioned itself as a facilitator of political discourse and even uprisings. But anyone seriously worried about the consequences of political dissonance, whistleblowing or leaking should be using an app like Signal that offers strong end-to-end encryption. Launching encrypted DMs could win back some of those change-makers and protect those still on Twitter.


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Twitter’s DMs have become a powerful way for people to contact strangers without needing their phone number or email address. Whether it’s to send a reporter a scoop, warn someone of a problem, discuss business or just “slide into their DMs” to flirt, Twitter has established one of the most open messaging mediums. But without encryption, those messages are subject to snooping by governments, hackers or Twitter itself.n

""n

Twitter has long positioned itself as a facilitator of political discourse and even uprisings. But anyone seriously worried about the consequences of political dissonance, whistleblowing or leaking should be using an app like Signal that offers strong end-to-end encryption. Launching encrypted DMs could win back some of those change-makers and protect those still on Twitter.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

Buried inside Twitter’s Android app is a “Secret conversation” option that if launched would allow users to send encrypted direct messages. The feature could make Twitter a better home for sensitive communications that often end up on encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp. The encrypted DMs option was first spotted inside the Twitter […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:1603003,”featured_media”:1117844,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”categories”:[449557102,449557028,426637499,21587494,3457],”tags”:[6474,599182],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2wjwYoD”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”tc_unified_tagging”:[“tag”:”term_id”:599182,”name”:”Twitter”,”slug”:”twitter”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:688,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:3830,”filter”:”raw”,”cb_tags”:[“twitter-organization”:”Twitter”],”tag”:”term_id”:6474,”name”:”encryption”,”slug”:”encryption”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:22387,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:202,”filter”:”raw”,”cb_tags”:[]],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[1603003],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”relatedArticles”:[],”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1635132″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”version-history”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1635132/revisions”],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003″],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”count”:0,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1635132&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1117844″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1635132″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1635132″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1635132″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1635132″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1635132″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1635132″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:1603003,”name”:”Josh Constine”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/josh-constine/”,”slug”:”josh-constine”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://about.me/joshconstine”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/JoshConstine”,”twitter”:”http://twitter.com/JoshConstine”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshconstine/”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/josh-constine”,”position”:”Editor-At-Large”,”cbDescription”:”

Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch.nn

Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook, where he covered Facebook product changes, privacy, ads, ecommerce, games, and music technology.nn

Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 100 on-stage interviews in 13 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He’s been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is available for speaking gigs. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of Niche, which connects social media stars to sponsorships from brands, and was acquired by Twitter. Constine has personal relationships stemming from college housing with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies.]”,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/h_216,w_216,c_fit/v1415412437/xje35licfau9iewxnf44.png”,”twitter”:”JoshConstine”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”]],”author”:[“id”:1603003,”name”:”Josh Constine”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/josh-constine/”,”slug”:”josh-constine”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://about.me/joshconstine”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/JoshConstine”,”twitter”:”http://twitter.com/JoshConstine”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshconstine/”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/josh-constine”,”position”:”Editor-At-Large”,”cbDescription”:”

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook, where he covered Facebook product changes, privacy, ads, ecommerce, games, and music technology.nn

Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 100 on-stage interviews in 13 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He’s been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is available for speaking gigs. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of Niche, which connects social media stars to sponsorships from brands, and was acquired by Twitter. Constine has personal relationships stemming from college housing with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences funded by companies he does not cover. 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