Google Reveals Encryption Add-On, Calls Out Insecure Services

Published: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 by Rad

Google this week launched another attack on the NSA with a new Chrome add-on called End-to-End, which promises to keep users' data safe from prying eyes.

Aimed at folks who feel even the new Gmail encryption measures aren't quite enough, End-to-End promises that data leaving your browser will remain encrypted until the intended recipient decodes it, and vice versa.

End-to-end encryption tools are not new, but they do require what Google Security and Privacy product manager Stephan Somogyi called "a great deal of technical know-how and manual effort"—traits most Internet users don't have.

So, the Web giant on Tuesday released the source code for its new Chrome add-on, hoping savvy users will test and evaluate the program ahead of its public debut. Financial rewards were promised to those who find security bugs in the code. Once Google is satisfied that the extension is ready for primetime, End-to-End will hit the Chrome Web Store, allowing even the most unseasoned user to send and receive end-to-end encrypted emails.

But not everyone has made the same commitment as Google. According to a Transparency Report update from Google, many email providers don't encrypt messages while in transit—including Groupon, Pinterest, Amazon, Comcast, and Verizon, among others.

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