Thursday, May 30, 2024

An necessary step in the direction of safe and interoperable messaging


Most fashionable client messaging platforms (together with Google Messages) help end-to-end encryption, however customers at present are restricted to speaking with contacts who use the identical platform. This is the reason Google is strongly supportive of regulatory efforts that require interoperability for giant end-to-end messaging platforms.

For interoperability to reach observe, nonetheless, laws should be mixed with open, industry-vetted, requirements, significantly within the space of privateness, safety, and end-to-end encryption. With out sturdy standardization, the end result will probably be a spaghetti of advert hoc middleware that might decrease safety requirements to cater for the bottom frequent denominator and lift implementation prices, significantly for smaller suppliers. Lack of standardization would additionally make superior options comparable to end-to-end encrypted group messaging inconceivable in observe – group messages must be encrypted and delivered a number of occasions to cater for each totally different protocol.

With the current publication of the IETF’s Message Layer Safety (MLS) specification RFC 9420, messaging customers can look ahead to this actuality. For the primary time, MLS allows sensible interoperability throughout providers and platforms, scaling to teams of 1000’s of multi-device customers. It is usually versatile sufficient to permit suppliers to tackle rising threats to person privateness and safety, comparable to quantum computing.

By making certain a uniformly excessive safety and privateness bar that customers can belief, MLS will unleash an enormous subject of recent alternatives for the customers and builders of interoperable messaging providers that undertake it. This is the reason we intend to construct MLS into Google Messages and help its large deployment throughout the {industry} by open sourcing our implementation within the Android codebase.


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