Twitter might finally introduce encrypted DMs

Twitter source code shows that the social network might be introducing a security feature the company’s owner Elon Musk was craving months ago.

Twitter’s source code indicates that the company is trying to introduce end-to-end encrypted direct messages (DMs) to the platform.

Researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted a hint that Twitter will introduce encrypted messages in the social network’s Android app and shared the findings online.

“This number was generated from your encryption keys from this conversation. If it matches the number in the recipient’s phone, end-to-end encryption is guaranteed,” reads a code string Wong shared.

Elon Musk replied to the post with a winking emoji, likely hinting that the feature is under development. That would hardly be a surprise since Musk said that Twitter should have end-to-end encryption to reduce the risk of spying back in April.

End-to-end encryption means the message is scrambled from when it leaves your device to when it gets to the recipient. No one along the way can access it.

End-to-end encryption has been a strong selling point for messaging apps such as Signal or Wickr. Protesters in authoritarian regimes in Iran, Belarus, and Russia rely on encrypted messages to avoid being spied on by their governments.

However, researchers point out that encrypted chats have a dark side, providing means to buy and sell hacking tools and illegal goods.

“Because content moderation is, by design, nearly impossible on these apps, they allow for an easy vector for dealers of illicit goods to communicate directly to customers without fear of law enforcement involvement,” NortonLifeLock said.