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Twitter gives up on encrypting direct messages, at least for now

19
Mar
2014

Twitter has shelved a project that would have made it more difficult for the government to intercept users’ private messages without a court order, sources tell The Verge, a sudden reversal for a company that has been ahead of the curve on privacy at a time of creeping surveillance. Most of Twitter’s content is public, but there are a few channels that users consider private: personal information, protected accounts, and direct messages, which function like a limited email system. In November, news leaked that Twitter had started work on encrypting direct messages in order to prevent unauthorized snooping by hackers or the state. Twitter declined to comment on why its latest encryption effort has stalled, but all signs point to its overloaded to-do list rather than an abandonment of its values.

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