Bloomberg News

Twitter Uses Forward Secrecy Technology to Step Up Encryption

November 23, 2013

Twitter Encryption

Twitter Inc. said in a blog post yesterday that it recently enabled a technology dubbed forward secrecy for traffic going through its websites, which makes it more difficult for hackers to decrypt information. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. (TWTR:US) said it has stepped up encryption of its service, in the latest effort by a technology company to beef up security following reports of spying on digital content by the National Security Agency.

The San Francisco-based microblogging service said in a blog post yesterday that it recently enabled a technology dubbed forward secrecy for traffic going through its websites, which makes it more difficult for hackers to decrypt information.

“Forward secrecy is just the latest way in which Twitter is trying to defend and protect the user’s voice,” the company said in the post.

Amid the fallout over NSA spying on digital information, technology companies including Google Inc. (GOOG:US) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) have taken measures to strengthen security of their information. Many are using harder-to-crack code to shield their networks and online customer data from unauthorized U.S. spying. The companies, trying to distance themselves from concerns about user data, have said they do not provide NSA direct access to their servers.

Earlier this week, Yahoo said it will encrypt all information that flows between its data centers. Google has said it was ramping up similar efforts.

Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking further comment.

In August, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that works for protections in the digital world, said it was promoting the technology of perfect forward secrecy because it helps make session keys that a server computer generates “truly ephemeral,” which helps keep data from prying eyes. The technology is “an important Web privacy protection,” the group said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net


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