There are a number of communication encryption services available to the public out there, but they tend to be a complicated affair and in many cases work outside of popular social networks. A new tool called ShadowCrypt is currently being developed to enable for simple encryption across the likes of Twitter and Facebook, among others. While still considered a research project courtesy of a group from the University of Maryland and UC Berkeley, ShadowCrypt comes in the form of an easy to use browser extension that allows for additional privacy on large, mainstream services.
It currently works on 14 different popular web services via a Chrome browser extension. Users can then generate keys for the various services and share them with the intended receiver on the other end. Essentially, everyone outside of the sender and receiver can see nothing but a mess of random letters and digits. Apparently not even the social network being used to send the encrypted messages can see them.
Still a work in progress, the encryption doesn’t work on all apps/sites perfectly, as it can be difficult to implement features like this into existing services. Reports say Google Spreadsheets doesn’t play nice with the extension and there are limitations on Twitter. Due to the amount of characters the encrypted version of a tweet takes up, messages are limited to only 45 characters at the moment.
As some have suggested Apple and Google both appear to be making attempts at implementing services of this nature, but other major networks like Facebook and Twitter have been less than active in this regard. Many feel the research project not only proves its possible to implement this type of privacy for users somewhat easily, but also highlights the importance of such an option.
Head over to the ShadowCrypt Reddit page for more info and to test out the extension.
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