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Monday, December 4, 2023

An essential step in the direction of safe and interoperable messaging

Most trendy shopper messaging platforms (together with Google Messages) assist end-to-end encryption, however customers as we speak 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 big end-to-end messaging platforms.

For interoperability to reach apply, nonetheless, laws have to be mixed with open, industry-vetted, requirements, notably within the space of privateness, safety, and end-to-end encryption. With out sturdy standardization, the outcome will probably be a spaghetti of advert hoc middleware that would decrease safety requirements to cater for the bottom widespread denominator and lift implementation prices, notably for smaller suppliers. Lack of standardization would additionally make superior options akin to end-to-end encrypted group messaging unimaginable in apply – 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 look ahead to this actuality. For the primary time, MLS permits sensible interoperability throughout companies and platforms, scaling to teams of 1000’s of multi-device customers. It’s also versatile sufficient to permit suppliers to handle rising threats to consumer privateness and safety, akin to quantum computing.

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

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