Sunday, March 3, 2024

An necessary step in direction of safe and interoperable messaging


Most fashionable shopper messaging platforms (together with Google Messages) assist end-to-end encryption, however customers immediately are restricted to speaking with contacts who use the identical platform. Because of this Google is strongly supportive of regulatory efforts that require interoperability for big end-to-end messaging platforms.

For interoperability to reach observe, nonetheless, rules should be mixed with open, industry-vetted, requirements, notably within the space of privateness, safety, and end-to-end encryption. With out strong standardization, the consequence will probably be a spaghetti of advert hoc middleware that would decrease safety requirements to cater for the bottom frequent denominator and lift implementation prices, notably for smaller suppliers. Lack of standardization would additionally make superior options corresponding to end-to-end encrypted group messaging unattainable in observe – group messages must be encrypted and delivered a number of instances 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 stay up for this actuality. For the primary time, MLS allows sensible interoperability throughout providers and platforms, scaling to teams of hundreds of multi-device customers. It is usually versatile sufficient to permit suppliers to handle rising threats to consumer privateness and safety, corresponding to quantum computing.

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


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