Twitter gives up on encrypting direct messages, at least for now

Twitter has shelved a project that would have made it more difficult for the government to intercept users’ private messages without a court order, sources tell The Verge, a sudden reversal for a company that has been ahead of the curve on privacy at a time of creeping surveillance.

Most of Twitter’s content is public, but there are a few channels that users consider private: personal information, protected accounts, and direct messages, which function like a limited email system.

In November, news leaked that Twitter had started work on encrypting direct messages in order to prevent unauthorized snooping by hackers or the state. But the project was dropped earlier this year without explanation, to the confusion of employees who…

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