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Your conversations in Google Hangouts are not as safe as you think

23 mayo, 2021

Today we have a huge number of instant messaging applications, many of which are trying to gain a foothold by offering users advanced security options and encryption to keep your conversations private, something of whose importance more and more people are aware.

But many of the most used applications of this type, especially those that only need the name of the companies that develop them to gain users, still do not offer reliable protection and encryption. An example is found in Google, which without wanting to say it openly has confirmed that Hangouts does not have end-to-end encryption, so government agencies could have access to all of our conversations.

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Google’s suspicious silences


Google is a company that usually takes privacy very seriously, and has always tried to be transparent when it comes to talking about its services and applications. For this very reason, the fact that I have always kept silence As for the security of its popular Hangouts messaging service, it has been making people suspicious for months.

Three days ago, some high-ranking members of Google’s legal and public policy teams underwent an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit, an occasion that a member of the American Civil Liberties Union took advantage of. to ask them directly the reason for the silence around Hangouts and their safety, and if they carried out any kind of listening for the authorities.

Google has confirmed that Hangouts does not have end-to-end encryption

In response, Google employees tried to throw balls out by simply saying that Hangout uses encryption in transit for its content, although there are legal authorities that allow governments to eavesdrop on communications. These words were enough to set Reddid on fire, Google had just confirmed the low security of Hangouts.

And this means?

Obama In Hangout

What do the words of Google employees mean? First of all, using in-transit encryption instead of the popular end-to-end means that our messages are only encrypted in the path from our devices to the servers from Google, and that once there they are fully exposed.

Users interpret that Google conducts wiretaps for governments

For some Reddit users, these words have been the confirmation, or at least the palpable possibility, that Google has the ability to eavesdrop for governments that require it. And in fact, as the search engine’s own company has shown in its transparency reports, these requests are usually given, although not on a large scale.

It also doesn’t seem likely that Google is actively spying on its Hangouts users. But a good way to avoid conflicts would be to implement end-to-end encryption to your messaging service, because in this way the messages would be encrypted from our device to that of the receiver, and even if Google wanted to or so the authorities demand it, could not (in theory) intercept and read our communications.

Via | Motherboard
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