– November 19, 2020, 8:33 PM UTC
Google has begun rolling out end-to-end encryption for the Rich Communication Service, the text messaging standard that the industry giant is pushing as an alternative to SMS.
Rich Communication Service, abbreviated as RCS, offers a richer user experience than legacy SMS standards. Writing indicators, presence information, location sharing, long messages, and better media support are major selling points. It leads to things like high-quality photos and videos, chatting over Wi-Fi, knowing when to read a message, sharing reactions, and better group chat capabilities.. As Ars Review editor Ron Amadeo noted last year, RCS interest from carriers has been lukewarm, so Google has been rolling it out with limited support..
Google said Thursday that it has now completed its global remote control system (RCS) rollout and is heading to a new phase – end-to-end encryption.. Interest in end-to-end encryption has spread over the past decade, particularly with Edward Snowden’s revelation of indiscriminate espionage on electronic communications by the NSA..
End-to-end encryption is an antidote to such intrusion. It uses strong encryption to encrypt messages with a unique key for each user. Because the key is in the possession of each user alone, end-to-end encryption prevents anyone else – including the app maker, ISP, carrier, and three-letter agencies – from reading a message.. Messaging apps that currently provide E2EE include Signal, WhatsApp, and iMessage, to name a few.
Now, Google wants to join the club. For now, E2EE will only be available for people using the beta version of the Android Messages app. Until then, E2EE will only work for individual messages between people using the Google app, and both senders and recipients will have to turn on chat features.. The offering will continue in the next year.
In 2016, Google introduced the Allo messaging app. It also featured E2EE, but only when users dive into the Settings menu and turn it on. Two years later, Google killed her. Google said this time with RCS, “Eligible conversations will be automatically upgraded to end-to-end encrypted.
Wired Media Group
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Google, Rich Communication Services, Messaging, Messaging Applications, End-to-End Encryption
World News – Australia – Google is testing end-to-end encryption in Android Messages
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