Twitter is introducing end-to-end encrypted messages, Elon Musk says

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From Wednesday, owner Elon Musk said, private messages on the social media platform will not even be available to Twitter itself

Twitter has introduced end-to-end encrypted messages on its platform, owner Elon Musk has said in a tweet. With end-to-end encryption, messages sent on the app will only be available to the sender and the recipient, and can’t even be accessed by Twitter itself.

In the tweet, Musk said private messages on the platform couldn’t be read by him "even if there was a gun to my head", as it was implemented in the latest update on Wednesday (May 10). He also said there are plans for the social media platform to roll out video and voice chat in the near future.

The news comes as concerts among encrypted services in the UK grow, with the government’s Online Safety Bill aiming to make messages on other encrypted services like WhatsApp to become available to law enforcement upon request. Head of the popular chat app said earlier this year that the law could see the Meta owned app become illegal in the UK, as it would refuse to comply.

Jake Moore, cyber-security expert at ESET, told the BBC that the introduction of end-to-end encryption on Twitter comes after demands from privacy-conscious users. 

"Without the use of end-to-end encrypted messaging, Twitter staff and the company itself have the opportunity to read people's messages," he told the broadcaster. "Although this can reap huge rewards for the platform, with advertisers being able to micro-target users, it is a huge security risk to those messaging without such privacy protection."

A Home Office spokesperson told the BBC: "The Online Safety Bill applies to all platforms, regardless of their design and functionality. Therefore, end-to-end encrypted services are in scope and will be required to meet their duties of care to users.

"We have made clear that companies should only implement end-to-end encryption if they can simultaneously uphold public safety. We continue to work with the tech industry to collaborate on mutually agreeable solutions that protect public safety without compromising security."

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