December 2, 2021

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End to end file encryption? In Android’s default messaging app? Do not fret, nobody else observed either

End to end file encryption? In Android’s default messaging app? Do not fret, nobody else observed either
Analysis Google is rolling out end-to-end encryption in the unloved and unwanted Android Rich Communication Services, as part of a renewed hope people might use messaging services controlled by the Chocolate Factory. The rollout seems to be a last roll of the dice for RCS, which began life as the telco industries’ SMS killer –…

Analysis Google is presenting end-to-end encryption in the unloved and unwanted Android Rich Communication Providers, as part of a restored hope people may use messaging services managed by the Chocolate Factory.

The rollout seems to be a last roll of the dice for RCS, which began life as the telco markets’ SMS killer– or, more prosaically, their belated response to the development of excessive (OTT) messaging services such as Blackberry Messenger and WhatsApp.

Following Google-fuelled rumours in Might of an E2E rollout for RCS, this week saw confirmation that a “beta” covering the whole world (less China and Russia) has actually been took into force

” We’re constantly improving security protections to safeguard your personal privacy and will be rolling out end-to-end file encryption, starting with one-on-one RCS discussions between individuals utilizing Messages,” burbled Google bod Drew Rowny.

There’s three primary problems for Google here: RCS is not about security; users have lots of safe( ish) options currently; and the broader market could not offer a toss about RCS anyway.

RCS was developed to both change SMS messaging and stop the development OTT messaging apps. As is apparent, it stopped working at both aims: Juniper Research reckoned that simply 16 percent of mobile phones around the world would support RCS this year, despite lots of early effort and time from the mobile industry and latterly Google itself.

While RCS is baked into the default Android Messages app, that is best known as the app which fields SMS messages and not the one you ‘d utilize for group talks, secure( ish) messaging or anything more upmarket than that.

Surprised by smartphone

Rich Communication Providers: No one uses it, nobody wants it, but analysts reckon it’s on the verge of a breakthrough

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Regardless of some sneering at mobile networks’ “incoherent and broken” rollout of RCS over the past few years, this pitch at the security-focused end of the market seems like a last gasp, a final toss of the dice before the slow, unfortunate shuffle to the cashier’s hatch while clutching that last sweaty chip, mumbling that just another bet would have seen the odds swing in your favour.

WhatsApp deployed E2E security yonks earlier, while more privacy-conscious folk who do not trust the Facebook-owned firm’s guarantees have a fully practical alternative in Signal, or Apple’s iMessage for fans of the fruity company.

And regardless of this most current Google-backed RCS marketing push being based on security, other industry sources have let the feline out of the bag: driving up RCS adoption has little to do with keeping users safe and everything to do with gathering users to feed into “an entire brand-new classification of targeted marketing”.

Increased security is a dubious selling point for mass-use messaging apps, a minimum of in nothing-to-hide-nothing-to-fear Britain. Although Whatsapp flashes up a warning when the account on the other side of the chat alters its security secret, in truth all this does is flag up that somebody’s bought a brand-new phone rather than been murdered and privately changed by an MI5 goon. ®

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