Google said that on Thursday it will roll out end-to-end encryption for Android users, making it difficult for anyone, including law enforcement, to read the contents of the messages.
“End-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including Google and third parties, can read the contents of your messages as they travel between your phone and the phone of the person you are sending the message to , ”Rollout announcement.
Google’s move is part of an upgrade from the SMS to Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard with additional features for images and video.
The move brings additional privacy and security for Google’s messaging applications, but comes amid growing complaints from law enforcement agencies around the world that strong encryption may enable criminals to hide their tracks.
Digital rights activists have long supported strong encryption by governments and cybercriminals to allow them to avoid snooping. But some governments have warned that the technology may hinder criminal investigations.