Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Instagram starts DMs on the web, going against Facebook end-to-end encryption policy

Facebook-owned Instagram just began rolling out a test of its Direct Messages on the web version of the popular social media app. The feature will allow users to access their DMs and message their friends using their computers, which contradicts Facebook announcement for end-to-end encryption in all its messaging services. E2E encryption secures your messages so that government agencies (and even Facebook/Instagram) can’t see what you send.

The feature is being tested only with a small percentage of users for now. Instagram says that you can create a new group, start a new chat, continue existing chats, like messages, and even share photos from the desktop through the web version of Instagram DMs. You can even receive notifications for messages that you receive in DMs through your browser.

The Facebook-Instagram clash

Facebook announced that the company was going to integrate end-to-end encryption in all its messaging services, which include WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, etc. However, Instagram’s latest move to publicly test DMs on the web app contradicts Facebook’s goal.

Alex Stamos, former Facebook Chief Security Officer, tweeted that end-to-end has never been securely built on a web-based messenger. He even said that he was expecting Facebook to drop web support for Messenger in favor of end-to-end encryption.

He also further says that there hasn’t been a secure way to store cryptographic secrets in JavaScript until now, though it is an active area of development.

Facebook even announced its ambition to eventually combine all its messaging services into a single app, allowing cross-platform communication between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. Instagram’s web DMs ambitions make it unclear how everything will fit in.

However, as someone who spends hours working on a computer, using Instagram DMs without having to pick up your phone would be amazing. Though I am a fan of end-to-end encryption, let’s be real: DMs on your laptop are amazing. Though there are third-party apps that allow this functionality, it is not wise to trust your accounts with anything other than the original Instagram app.

What do you think about the whole situation? Would you prefer DMs on your laptop or end-to-end encryption? Let us know in the comments!

Source: TechCrunch

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