Meta Introduces End-to-End Encryption by Default for Facebook Messenger Messages and Calls

Meta Introduces End-to-End Encryption

Meta has recently initiated the implementation of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in Messenger for personal calls and one-to-one personal messaging as the default setting, which they consider to be a highly significant achievement.

“This version is not a regular security update. We completely reconstructed the application, working closely with privacy and safety specialists,” stated Loredana Crisan, Vice President of Messenger at Meta, in a post shared on X (previously Twitter).

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who introduced a “privacy-focused vision for social networking” in 2019, stated that the change is the result of extensive efforts to restructure the platform over the course of several years. It is important to mention that end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for group communications in Messenger is still undergoing testing.

The implementation of encrypted chats was initially introduced in Messenger as an optional feature known as “secret conversations” in 2016. Meta’s Instagram platform offers end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for both messaging and calls, although its availability is limited to certain regions and is not activated by default.

“End-to-end encryption ensures that the information in your messages and calls with friends and family is safeguarded from the time it leaves your device until it reaches the recipient’s device,” stated Crisan.

In August 2023, the social media company announced that it was making progress in implementing the feature and expected to make it available to a large number of users by the end of the year. However, they highlighted the need to redesign the Messenger platform to ensure that messages going through their servers are not processed or verified.

In order to achieve this objective, the company not only enhanced more than 100 functions to include encryption but also created novel methods for customers to handle their communication history across devices, such as establishing a PIN, by constructing a new encrypted storage system known as Labyrinth.

The PIN serves as a recovery mechanism following the chat upgrade in Messenger, enabling users to retrieve their conversations in the event of device loss, change, or addition to their account.

The company stated in a whitepaper that the Labyrinth protocol, which is a revolutionary method for storing encrypted messages, intends to overcome many obstacles by allowing users to keep their messages on servers while ensuring robust privacy.

The purpose of this system is to safeguard messages from unauthorized individuals or devices that are not registered in a user’s Labyrinth mailbox. It ensures that new messages cannot be decrypted on devices that have been revoked access to earlier messages. This is achieved with minimal operational costs and a high level of reliability.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.


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