Elon Musk Wants His ‘Twitter 2.0’ to Have Video Chat, Voice Calls and Encrypted Private Messages, He Asks Signal Founder for Help


Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that he wants to add video and voice calling functionality and secure direct messaging to the social media platform. According to his plans, private messages will be encrypted, meaning that the text in principle can only be read by the participants, as is the case with platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

Musk added that he had spoken with Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike, a former Twitter employee, who was “potentially willing to help” encrypt private messages on Twitter. “We want to allow users to communicate without worrying about their privacy,” Musk said, citing potential data breaches that could result in messages being leaked, or people being spied on. employees to users.

The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, has publicly expressed his desire to improve how the social network’s direct messages work. At a meeting with employees yesterday, he explained exactly what it looks like.

Framed by slides of a presentation titled “Twitter 2.0” at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Monday, Musk told employees the company would encrypt private messages and work to add of encrypted video and voice calls between the accounts, according to a recording of the meeting.

“We want to allow users to communicate without worrying about their privacy, [ou] without worrying about a Twitter data breach causing all of their private messages to be accessible on the web, or thinking that someone on Twitter might be snooping on their private messages,” Musk said. . “Obviously it’s not going to be cool and it’s happened a few times already.”

Musk is right that private messages have been exposed before. In 2018, Twitter warned that an unspecified number of private messages between companies and their customers had been accessed by strangers for more than a year. And earlier this year, the US government accused a former employee of improperly accessing user data on behalf of Saudi Arabia, though it’s unclear how the private messages were or weren’t used.

Quote Sent by Twitter

We recently discovered a bug in our Account Activity API (AAAPI). This API allows registered developers to create tools to better support businesses and their communications with their customers on Twitter. If you interacted on Twitter with an account or company that works with a developer that uses AAAPI to provide their services, this bug may have caused some of those interactions to be accidentally sent to another registered developer. In some cases, this may involve certain private messages or protected Tweets, such as a private message to an airline that has licensed an AAAPI developer. Similarly, if your company allowed a developer using AAAPI to access your account, the bug may have affected the accuracy of your activity data.

It is important to note that, based on our preliminary analysis, a complex series of technical events that occurred at several points led to this bug and the permanent sharing of account information with the wrong source.

Basic information:

  • The bug appeared in May 2017. Hours after it was discovered on September 10, 2018, we implemented a fix to prevent any accidental data from being sent to the wrong developers.
  • The bug affected less than 1% of people on Twitter.
  • Any party who may have received information not intended for them is a registered developer through our developer-only program, which we’ve expanded significantly in recent months to prevent inappropriate behavior and misuse of data.

Towards encrypted private messaging on Twitter?

Over the years, Twitter has started and then stopped creating encrypted private messaging on several occasions. But now Musk is determined to roll out encryption as a top priority for the vision he calls Twitter 2.0. “We have to get to a situation where I can’t look at anyone’s private messages even if someone has a gun to my head,” he told employees Monday.

He praised Signal, the encrypted chat app that is run as a non-profit organization. He said he spoke with its creator, Moxie Marlinspike, who is now “potentially willing to help” encrypt private messages on Twitter.

“Ironically, Moxie Marlinspike works at Twitter and really wanted to create encrypted private messages a few years ago, [mais] he rejected that and then went and created Signal,” Musk said.

Musk added that “we also like the ability to do voice and video chat through private messages.” He acknowledged that Signal requires sharing a phone number to start a thread and that, through its account system, Twitter can facilitate secure calling “so you don’t have to give someone your number of the phone.” ‘a”. Signal has said since 2020 that it is also working to stop relying on phone numbers, although it has not yet deployed this capability.

Quote Sent by Signal

At Signal, our goal is to create a reliable, secure and private communication experience that is widely accessible and easy to use. From the start, we designed Signal to put your information in your hands, not ours.

Currently, this also means that if you accidentally drop your phone in the bathroom, your Signal information will be lost as well.

This may be more information than you first think. We believe that private communication means more than encrypted messaging, and we designed Signal with that in mind. Signal provides private groups, private contact discovery, private profiles, and more. Everything exclusively at your fingertips. While we’re supporting additional features requested by the Signal community – like addressing that isn’t based on phone numbers and chatting with contacts not saved to an address – this means more of important data of this carrier may also be lost. .

Other apps and platforms – even if they support some form of encrypted messaging – store this type of data in the clear on their servers, so that when you lose or change your phone, this information is will not be lost to them. This isn’t good for your privacy, so we’ve come up with a different approach that doesn’t sacrifice the privacy and security you’ve come to expect from Signal.

In the latest version of our apps, we are introducing Signal PINs. Signal PINs are based on Secure Value Recovery, which we previewed in December, to allow supporting data such as your profile, settings, and people you’ve blocked to be safely recovered in case the device is lost or replaced . PIN codes will also help facilitate new features such as responding that is not based exclusively on phone numbers, as the system’s address book will no longer be a practical way of maintaining your network of contacts.

Signal PINs are at least 4 digits long, but they can also be longer or alphanumeric if you prefer. Because Signal doesn’t have access to your keys – or your data – your PIN can’t be recovered if you forget it, so our apps help you remember your PIN with periodic reminders. Don’t worry, these reminders become more frequent over time.

We’re excited to put Signal PINs in your hands, because we believe this technology can help us provide some new, useful, and improved features while maintaining strong privacy and security.

Conclusion

Replacing phone numbers with more recognizable account usernames is a popular idea in tech circles. Last week, Musk said Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s support for such a concept.

It’s unclear if calling and encrypted messaging will be available to all users, or just as part of the $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription.

The planned features could also be linked to Musk’s idea of ​​”creating X, the catch-all app.” The world’s richest man bought the X.com domain name more than five years ago and talked about creating a “super-app” comparable to China’s WeChat.

Sources: Elon Musk presentation with slides titled “Twitter 2.0”, Twittersignal

And you?

What do you think of the direction Elon Musk takes in the future of Twitter?

Encrypted private messaging, video and voice calls, features that probably interest you on this platform? Why?

Could such features be reserved as part of the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription to entice users to put their hands in the wallet? Why?

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