Twitter will soon launch encryption for direct messages as an optional feature

Governments could read the contents of your direct messages on Twitter before, but encryption will put an end to that, Elon Musk has promised.

Elon Musk smoking weed on the Joe Rogan podcast
Encryption for Twitter DMs will be optional | Image: Joe Rogan/YouTube
  • Twitter’s owner and CEO Elon Musk has confirmed plans to encrypt direct messages that users exchange on the platform.
  • The upcoming feature will be turned off by default. There will be a toggle to switch on encryption at any point in the conversation, Musk explained.
  • The change is coming later this month or sometime in May.

Twitter’s direct messages will get optional encryption

In his typical style, Musk made an announcement during a recent interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, which covered a range of topics like the current state of AI (he founded a new AI company called X.AI), SpaceX, Twitter and more.

“This will be great. Coming soon. Maximum protection for users,” Musk wrote on Twitter. He also shared a clip from the interview announcing the upcoming ability to toggle encryption for individual conversations on and off.

The controversial Tesla chief was responding to a segment in which Carlson repeated Musk’s earlier remarks that various government agencies had had access to data from Twitter’s users before the acquisition.

And you thought Twitter DMs were encrypted, right?

“The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at Twitter blew my mind,” Musk said.

The spying on users included Twitter’s direct messaging feature, prompting a surprising reaction from Carlson who was unaware—just like many Twitter users—that their DM exchanges are stored in plain text on Twitter’s servers.

With the upcoming encryption feature, Musk promised, no one will be able to read the contents of your communications on Twitter, not even government agencies (hopefully). The SpaceX owner didn’t elaborate further, so we’ll have to wait and see how encryption for Twitter DMs will be implemented.

Watch this space as we’ll keep you in the loop.

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