INTERNATIONAL -Twitter is building a tool that will allow users to send secret messages to one another.
The feature, called 'Secret Conversation,' was buried inside Twitter's Android application package, which often contain code for tools that a company may be in the process of testing, according to TechCrunch.
The code was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a computer science student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, who tweeted that it appeared Twitter may be working on 'end-to-end encrypted secret direct messages'.
Twitter is working on End-to-End Encrypted Secret DM! pic.twitter.com/2lLr5i1p42
It's unclear when or if the feature will ever be officially rolled out in the app.
But launching an encrypted messaging tool would provide Twitter users with greater security and allow them to send more sensitive communications.
Many popular social media platforms have introduced encrypted messaging features, including Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Signal.
Users, including whistleblower Edward Snowden, have urged Twitter to roll out such a feature.
So far, the 'Secret Conversation' tool appears to still be in the early stages of development.
In the photos posted by Wong, it shows a header titled 'Encryption settings', followed by a series of options.
A tab labeled 'Start a secret text message' is followed by a series of filler text after it that says 'Education on what an encrypted conversation is'.
Clicking on that tab opens up a separate window titled 'Secret conversation'.
Once a Secret conversation is started, the Encryption settings tab will give users the option to establish an 'encryption key,' as well as manage your pre-shared keys.
Pre-shared keys are a password that is exchanged between the sender and the recipient to encrypt the conversation, making it so that only those parties can view and participate in the message.
The encrypted communication would only apply to direct messages, so this doesn't mean users can publish encrypted tweets.
So far, Twitter has yet to confirm whether it's working on an end-to-end encrypted messaging feature.
However, the microblogging platform has indicated that it was exploring a similar tool in the past.
In 2016, Snowden requested 'burn-after-reading DMs,' to which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the idea was 'reasonable and something we'll think about'.
A former Twitter employee noted that the firm had mulled over this idea in the past, but that it was tabled due to marketing and advertising concerns.
Now, with data privacy and secure communications at the forefront of many conversations, it seems that Twitter may be taking another look at encrypted messaging.
- DAILY MAIL