Google has announced that it plans to add support for Message Layer Security (MLS) to its Messages service for Android. MLS is a security protocol that allows for end-to-end encryption (E2EE) across different messaging platforms. This means that users of Google Messages will be able to communicate securely with users of other messaging platforms that support MLS, such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Wire.
Why is this important?
E2EE is essential for protecting the privacy of your communications. When E2EE is enabled, only the sender and recipient of a message can read it, even if the message is intercepted by a third party. This makes it much more difficult for governments, hackers, or other malicious actors to spy on your conversations.
How does MLS work?
MLS uses a technique called continuous group key agreement (CGKA) to establish a shared secret key between two or more messaging clients. This key is then used to encrypt all subsequent messages sent between the clients. CGKA is designed to be very secure, even if one of the clients is compromised.
What are the benefits of MLS?
There are several benefits to using MLS for cross-platform E2EE. First, it allows users of different messaging platforms to communicate securely with each other. Second, it is a very secure protocol, making it difficult for third parties to eavesdrop on your conversations. Third, MLS is open source, which means that anyone can review the code and ensure that it is secure.
What is the future of MLS?
MLS is still a relatively new protocol, but it has the potential to become the standard for cross-platform E2EE. As more and more messaging platforms adopt MLS, it will become easier for users to communicate securely with each other, regardless of the platform they are using.
Google’s decision to add support for MLS to Messages is a positive step towards making E2EE more accessible to users of different messaging platforms. As MLS becomes more widely adopted, it will help to protect the privacy of our communications and make it more difficult for governments, hackers, and other malicious actors to spy on us.