WASHINGTON: Google announced it would be carrying out end-to-end security for Android devices on Thursday, making it difficult for someone to decipher the content of communications, even law enforcement.
“End-to-end encryption ensures that no one can read the content of your messages, including Google and third parties, as they travel between your phone and the phone of the person you are messaging,” said Drew Rowny, Google product chief, in announcing the launch.
The step by Google is part of an update of additional functionality for photos and videos from SMS to the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard.
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For individuals interacting using Android-powered smartphones, it will be open.
The change adds extra privacy and protection to the messaging programme of Google, but comes in the midst of increasing law enforcement officer concerns around the world that strong encryption will allow offenders to cover their tracks.
Good encryption has long been advocated by digital rights campaigners to allow consumers to prevent snooping by governments and cybercriminals. But some governments have cautioned that the technology could prohibit criminal prosecutions from taking place.
On certain platforms, such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption is already available, but the firm has faced opposition over its intention to add complete encryption to its Messaging app.
US Attorney General William Barr joined British and Australian counterparts last year in asking Facebook to drop its encryption, arguing that the plan court had harmed child violence inquiries.
Civil liberty advocates countered that a lack of encryption or exclusive law enforcement access could affect all internet users’ privacy and protection, creating vulnerabilities that could be abused by bad actors.