Google has written a new email describing recent security measures to provide end-to-end encryption on all email messages. But will it be enough to calm the ever-increasing fears of users about possible back door access by government officials and other nefarious forces?
The NSA and global spying efforts conducted by multiple governments with their help. The Heartbleed bug. Users are becoming more jumpy when it comes to the security of their information. Google is looking to ease some of that tension.
This reassurance comes in the form of a new tool for Chrome called End-to-End. Using OpenPGP, users can encrypt data coming from their browsers. They can also encrypt, decrypt, digitally sign, and verify signed messages from the same extension.
Unlike other tools that have been created by third parties for the same purpose, this one is made to be user friendly for those without any technical knowledge. Making it a Chrome extension means it is simple to install, as well. It has been released to developers and privacy community advocates for testing, and it will be in the Chrome store before too long for regular consumers.
In other news, Google has found in a recent survey that as much as half of all email sent in the Gmail client is not encrypted. They want to encourage people to begin encrypting all messages to protect from unauthorized viewing, and so have added a new section about it to their Transparency Report.
While encryption is a great tool for security, Google is still one of many tech companies that present worries for consumers. This is unlikely to provide much relief, as rumors abound about the level of cooperation they and other brands have offered the NSA. Not to mention the very likely continued efforts by agencies to survey citizens on a mass scale.
Of course, Google has always provided plenty of opportunities for alarm on the issue of privacy. But we still use their services, from their search engine to their cloud data services, and now we are beginning to turn to them as an internet service provider. So however worried we might be, we aren’t worried about to stop giving our information over to them.