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What do you think about Messenger end-to-end Encryption?



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What do you think about Messenger end-to-end Encryption?

I'm sure that most of us are using Facebook and its app messenger, actually I think that it doesn't exist a smartphone without messenger installed on it.

Now I'm not saying that if you use facebook you should use messenger, but if you're using it every day probably you've noticed an option called "secret conversation" , this feature is available only on android and IOS platforms, and you need to turn it on manually from your messenger, to do that simply click to profile which you want to send encrypted message and click to "Secret Conversation".

Now, according to Facebook this feature is using end-to-end encryption which means that only you(sender) and your friend(receiver) can read those messages, after sending a message via this option you have to set timer, timer is an option that allow you to choose how long will your message stay active after your friend read them, so if you choose a timer 60s , your message will be deleted automatically 1 min after it's seen.

So since they're using end-to-end encryption it means that even the facebook can't read them, why does this sound like hmmm ,a bit weird?

What do you guys and gals think about this?

Feel free to share your thoughts...

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idealmike

Hmmm I don't know what to think about it. I'm just an end-user of these apps and when I see they say it's encrypted end-to-end. I and every other end-user just take that at face value and presume it's a good thing. It means anything I see or send is encrypted and can't be intercepted and deciphered (unencrypted) and used nefariously by a cyber crim in basic layman's terms right?

But okay so it's end-to-end encrypted but you can also choose to secret the conversation you're having with someone in that anything you say or receive is deleted after a certain amount of time. So that way, not only is your conversation encrypted but it's also like one of those Mission Impossible messages that says "this message will self destruct in 5 seconds" or however long in minutes you decide! That is kind of cool in a way. For some people anyway such as those that don't want their nosey friends or their kids or work colleagues or even their partner to "accidently" stumble across some illicit or potentially damning conversation you've had with someone. Or perhaps you just want to discuss something very top secret and didn't want what was said to be seen by anyone such as if you lost your phone or it was stolen or something and someone was somehow able to bypass the pass lock on it (provided it was enabled).

So that's kind of good in that kind of way. For those people that might need something like that. And there hasn't ever really been anything like that before in any conversation or messaging app so it's kind of an innovative feature that is better to have and not need than it is to need and not have if you know what I mean!?

As for "So since they're using end-to-end encryption it means that even the facebook can't read them, why does this sound like hmmm, a bit weird?"

One thing I always wonder is. These encryption methods they use right. Well someone has to write that. It's based on some mathematical algorithm usually right? So if they can encrypt it. They can also decrypt it too. Since you can encrypt and decrypt anything if you know the encryption algorithm which they do. And then look at that from the perspective of the government as well. They like to snoop in on International and internal conversation and we all know they use some methods for listening out for certain words to aid in the fight against terrorism, organized crime, fraud etc. Surely they and Facebook can decrypt it if they really want to? Surely Facebook can read them and they don't keep it encrypted. This is Facebook we're talking about here. They want to know everything about you from what you eat to what you wear and watch. Who you talk to and what you talk about. All so they can send you better, more targeted ads. So yeah, perhaps you're right, it does sounds a bit, hmmmmm, ominous!




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procoder

Yeah of course that they can decrypt it, it doesn't exist an encryption method that can't be decrypted, because they are built in that way. As anything else everything has its key. Now to be honest I don't believe they've added this feature for people that want to talk in privately or stay private or whatever, if this feature has benefits those benefits will go directly to facebook and other third parties companies.

Maybe they're not encrypting them or using any kind of encryption, it could be a marketing campaign,well.. a successful marketing campaign as people like those "feature" that make them feel safe. Actually those features that pretend to protect you, those will abuse with you more than anything else.




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MusicMoguls

I think this is great but also could be a trap. Im no lawyer and i didn't pass the bar but if known criminals are using this feature to talk about crimes or to commit crimes then this could backfire in a big way. How much pressure would police departments have to put on Facebook before they release these private messages? They have special warrants from the supreme courts that will make Facebook handover any information they want them to hand over. The point im trying to make is nothing is ever really private and we cannot trust Facebook with our privacy. They are one of the most invasive social media companies in the world. I agree with Mike anything that encrypted has a key to decrypt nobody has throw away encryption that nobody can access that would be pointless.




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procoder

Yeah, you're on point. I also think that they have built it only for that purpose, now I'm not saying that other companies are not doing the same thing especially when it comes to safety, because on internet everything is logged, but on the other side I'm sure that this feature will help them to identify "things" that they suspect more faster than using other ways. We see only the front end of app, we don't know what happens on the back end, it could be really a feature that is protecting us, but it could be also just a marketing campaign...




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Cristian

Of course, they can read them! How else would they be able to release facebook messages in court cases? I've seen plenty of news having facebook messages as evidence.

I personally don't buy it, Facebook want, you to believe you have a good amount of privacy. After all the privacy scandals Facebook started to invest some marketing into making people feel more "safe" on Facebook.
Social network apps like Candid really must scare them!

Also, thanks for the info on the timer thing! I didn't know about that! Will the messages delete on Facebook desktop version too, or just mobile?




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procoder

Yes, you're totally right. I think those companies are abusing a bit with word end-to-end encryption , because nobody will offer something that can't control it. It could be a pure marketing campaign, it can happen and I'm sure that they've done that before.

The timer feature it's available only on messenger, so yeah messages will be deleted only if you send them through "secret conversation" feature, now I'm not sure if messages are really deleted or a if a copy will stay there forever but yeah...




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Lynne

I don't use messenger so I am not really interested either way. I don't like using all these apps on my phones. I find it quite annoying how there are so many ways for people to get hold of you. It becomes a big time overload of notifications and messages coming in all over the place.

My phone is my sacred space where I use it just for phoning, texts, emails and whatsapp. I would love to get rid of whatsapp but my kids school has whatsapp groups for each class...

Anyway I get loads of people requesting I get Messenger on my phone and I ignore them all.




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