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New Google logo

Google offers mail encryption tool for paranoid Chrome users

New Google logo

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation... More

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Google announced a new tool called End-to-End that encrypts your email when it leaves your web browser until it is decrypted by the recipient so that it doesn’t get snooped up somewhere in the deep dark web.

Though currently only available for developers, this new Chrome plug-in echoes what privacy activists have been rooting for over the last few years. Although there are other encryption tools like PGP and GnuPG, they require a certain degree of technical know-how.

In a Google Transparency Report recently released, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook were among the top domains that’s been supporting email encryption over the last year. To fuel the paranoia, the report indicates that around 40 percent to 50 percent of email sent by Gmail users to other email services is not being encrypted and thus unsafe.

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Referring to the NSA woes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly denounced president Barrack Obama’s efforts to “make it right”, though there hasn’t been any real action by tech companies to strengthen user security.

Since the NSA controversy first started, tech giants have been hesitant to fully encrypt their users’ data. Such security measures might help prevent both governments and third-parties from gathering sensitive info, but it also prevents tech companies from collecting data to be sold for targeted advertising.

The tool is currently in alpha and requires both the sender and the recipient to have the tool installed on Chrome.

Developers can find more information on the code here.