Google Messages to Boost Security with New Standard

google messages

Google is set to add the recently published Message Layer Security (MLS) specification RFC 9420 from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) into its own Google Messages. This step aims to improve safe and flexible messaging between different platforms.

Giles Hogben, Privacy Engineering Director at Google, shared in a blog post on July 19 that the tech giant supports regulatory moves that promote interoperability for large end-to-end messaging platforms. However, he stressed the need for such regulations to go hand in hand with open, industry-approved standards, particularly in the areas of privacy, security, and end-to-end encryption.

Without strong standardization, Hogben cautioned against the creation of a complex network of middleware which could lower security standards and increase implementation costs, especially for smaller service providers. Such a scenario could also render advanced features like end-to-end encrypted group messaging impractical.

With the introduction of the MLS specification, Hogben believes users can expect a more effective interoperability across services and platforms. Notably, MLS is capable of scaling to accommodate thousands of multi-device users, and is flexible enough to tackle emerging threats, such as quantum computing.

By maintaining a high level of security and privacy, Hogben suggests that MLS could open up new opportunities for users and developers of interoperable messaging services. Google plans to contribute to this cause by open sourcing its MLS implementation in the Android codebase.

Google has long wanted Apple to support the Rich Communication Services (RCS) international protocol, but that hasn’t happened. Therefore, Apple and Google chats for now will remain with green bubbles.

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