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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 04 2014, @04:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-we-know-who-your-friends-are dept.

Today Google announced the alpha release of a Chrome plugin that works with their Gmail service to enable end-to-end encryption for email sent through their system. This will reduce Google's ability to data-mine the content of messages, but it won't stop anyone from tracking senders and recipients. Their plugin is based on OpenPGP and they are publishing the source code.

With a focus on ease-of-use lets hope that this plugin is enough to start a broader movement towards end-to-end encryption for all email, regardless of provider.

Editor's Note: This is an early release of the code and should not be relied upon just yet. Google invites the community to test and evaluate the extension; it is even eligible for their Vulnerability Reward Program.

 
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  • (Score: 3) by Tork on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:18PM

    by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:18PM (#51236)
    "This will reduce Google's ability to data-mine the content of messages, but it won't stop anyone from tracking senders and recipients."

    If this actually were implemented and everybody started using it, I'd just be a teeny bit less upset than I will be when Google inevitably rams Google+ down my throat. I really do I wish I could get them to understand that I want a big thick wall between my email address and any social networking services I use, I do NOT want them blended together.
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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:32PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 04 2014, @05:32PM (#51249) Journal

    Remember that this is a browser plug-in.

    The decrypted content will be displayed in clear text by your browser.
    There will be plenty of time for the browser to pick keywords out of your email and send them back upstream for fetching advertising.

    I've noticed that when using Gmail via the web interface, as soon as I select a message from the inbox, the message content shows up, followed a half a second later by the advertising on the right hand side of the screen. It almost seems like the code in the web interface is acting this way already.

    This, of course raises some serious security issues, even though gmail is set to always use ssl. Its part of the bargain you make with Google when you use the web interface.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @10:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @10:04AM (#51567)

    I really do I wish I could get them to understand that I want a big thick wall between my email address and any social networking services I use, I do NOT want them blended together.

    There's an easy way to get this: Don't use gmail. It's not as if they were the only email provider in the world.