End-to-end Encrypted RCS Messages May Soon Replace Your Normal SMS, Hints Google

Joanna Estrada
May 25, 2020

The code for an internal build of Google Messages version 6.2 includes 12 new strings that reference encryption, according to an analysis by 9to5 Google.

Google which rolled out its Rich Communication Services (RCS), an online protocol to replace traditional SMS messaging, in November a year ago in the U.S. is working on end-to-end encryption to its RCS Messages.

Google in December launched an update for Android Messages app that makes SMSing more like texting on an iPhone for the users in the US.

Code spotted in an upcoming version of the Google Messages app suggests that end-to-end encryption is in the pipeline for RCS messaging - the SMS upgrade that Google has pushed out in the USA, the United Kingdom and various other countries.

End-to-end encryption means messages are completely scrambled for everyone except the contacts in the conversation.

The code fragments that have been spotted suggest Google is now working to add end-to-end encryption for sending messages, sharing a location and so on. You can also send the message as SMS/MMS instead. There are a lot of other options for those wanting end-to-end encryption so Google will no doubt want it in their Messages app as they bring RCS to more users throughout the world, trying to offer a decent alternative to Whatsapp, iMessage etc.

While this is just in a beta dogfood build at the moment it is only a matter of time you would suspect until Google implement it into the public build. Details are scarce, though, and it's still unclear whether both the message's sender and recipient would need to be using Google Messages app for it to be successfully encrypted. If you really want security for your messaging the go-to for most security-conscious people is the open-sourced Signal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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