End-to-End communication system allows only the communicating users to read the messages. This prevents the potential eavesdroppers from being able to access the cryptographic keys to decrypt the conversation. This system was not commonly known to people a few years ago but now with the increasing potential threats of hacking and eavesdropping, there is a need to provide users the facility of keeping their conversation a secret between them and their recipient.
This feature was rolled out first by WhatsApp in April and provided end-to-end encryption to its users. It was the first phase of Facebook testing the encryption method with one of its self-owned messaging service, WhatApp. But now Facebook has planned to make this feature an important part of its system.
Recently on Friday, Facebook announced the release of one of its new feature called “secret conversation”. The messages in this way are end-to-end encrypted so that no one gets a glimpse at the user’s personal conversation. And it is not just for hackers, it includes the local network, FBI agents, and even Facebook itself. But this feature will be soon available to just a small number of users for the purpose of running it as a test trial and after testing this option will be provided to all the Facebook users.
There are some differences between the end-to-end encryption approach by Facebook and WhatsApp. Facebook will provide this facility only when its users will turn on this feature manually. Whereas this feature is available to everyone who uses WhatsApp which in some cases have arouse fury among the law enforcement authorities as this feature hampers the investigation processes.
Facebook’s secret conversation feature will not be functional with multiple devices. Users will have to pick and choose only one device in order to benefit from the facility. This is because the end-to-end encryption approach requires a fix set of keys to be stored on the computer of both the sender and the recipient. And Facebook cannot safely distribute that key among multiple smart devices such as phones, PCs, and Tablets.
This Facebook’s end-to-end encryption approach will have a huge impact for bringing access to encrypted messages to more than a billion users.