Elon Musk wants “Twitter 2.0” to have Video Chat, Voice Calls, and Encrypted Private Messages, and he’s enlisted the help of Signal’s founder.


Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that he wants to add video and voice calling functionality and secure direct messaging to the social media platform. According to his plans, private messages will be encrypted, meaning that in principle only the participants can read the text, as is the case with platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

Musk added that he had spoken with Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike, a former Twitter employee who was “potentially willing to help” with the encryption of private Twitter messages. “We want to allow users to communicate without having to worry about their privacy,” Musk said, citing potential data breaches that could result in messages being leaked or employees spying on users.

The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, has announced his desire to improve the direct messages of the social network. At a staff meeting yesterday, he explained exactly what that looks like.

Flanked by slides of a presentation called “Twitter 2.0” at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Monday, Musk said the company will encrypt private messages and work to add encrypted video and voice calls between accounts, according to a recording of the meeting.

“We want to allow users to communicate without worrying about their privacy. [ou] Without having to worry about a data breach causing all of their private messages on Twitter to be available on the internet or thinking that someone on Twitter could be spying on their private messages,” Musk said. “Obviously it’s not going to be cool, and it’s happened a few times already.”

Musk is right that private messages have been leaked before. In 2018, Twitter warned that an undisclosed number of private messages between companies and their customers had been accessed by outsiders over a period of more than a year. And earlier this year, the U.S. government accused a former employee of improperly accessing user data on behalf of Saudi Arabia, though it’s unclear how private messages were or weren’t used.

Quote sent by Twitter

We recently discovered a bug in the Account Action API (AAAPI). This API allows registered developers to build tools to better support businesses and their communications with their customers on Twitter. If you’ve interacted with an account or company on Twitter that works with a developer that uses AAAPI to provide its services, this bug may cause some of that interaction to be inadvertently sent to another registered developer. In some cases, this may include certain private messages or protected Tweets, such as a private message from an airline licensing an AAAPI developer. Similarly, if your company has allowed a developer using AAAPI to access your account, the wrong activity could affect the accuracy of your data.

It’s important to note that, based on our initial analysis, complex technical issues that occurred at some point led to this error and continued sharing of account information with the wrong source.

Basic information:

  • The error appeared in May 2017. A few hours after it was discovered on September 10, 2018, we implemented a fix to prevent any intentional information from being sent to the wrong developers.
  • This bug affected less than 1% of people on Twitter.
  • Any party who received information not intended for them was a registered developer through our developer-only program, which we’ve expanded significantly in recent months to prevent inappropriate behavior and misuse of data.

Towards encrypted private messaging on Twitter?

Over the years, Twitter has started and then discontinued encrypted private messaging several times. But now Musk is determined to push encryption as a top priority for a vision he calls Twitter 2.0. “We need to get to a point where I can’t look at anyone’s private messages even if someone points a gun at my head,” he told staff on Monday.

He went on to praise Signal, an encrypted chat app run as a nonprofit. Its creator said he spoke with Moxie Marlinspike, who is now “potentially willing to help” with the encryption of private messages on Twitter.

“By the way, Moxie Marlinspike used to work on Twitter and actually wanted to send encrypted private messages a few years ago. [mais] he denied it and then he went and created Signal,” Musk said.

Musk then said that “we also want the ability to have voice and video chats through private messages.” He acknowledged that Signal requires sharing a phone number to create a thread, and that through the account system, Twitter could facilitate secure calls so “you don’t have to give someone your phone number.” “a”. Signal says it has been working to stop relying on phone numbers since 2020, though it has yet to implement that capability.

Quote sent by Alarm

At Signal, our goal is to create a secure, secure, and private communications experience that’s widely available and easy to use. From the beginning, we designed Signal to put your data in your hands, not ours.

Currently, this also means that if your hands accidentally lose your phone in the toilet, your data on Signal is also lost.

There may be more information than you first think. We believe that personal communication is more than just encrypted messaging, and we designed Signal with that in mind. Signal offers private groups, private connection discovery, private profiles, and more. provides. Everything is in your hands. As we support additional features requested by the alarm community – such as addressing not based on phone numbers and chatting with contacts not stored in addresses – this means that more and more important operator data can also be lost. .

Other apps and platforms—even if they support some form of encrypted messaging—store such information publicly on their servers so that it doesn’t get lost with them when you lose or change your phone. That’s not good for your privacy, so we’ve taken a different approach that doesn’t sacrifice the privacy and security you’ve come to expect from Signal.

In the latest version of our apps, we are introducing Signal PINs. Alarm PINs are based on Secure Value Recovery, which we previewed in December, to allow you to securely restore supporting data like your profile, settings, and people you’ve blocked in the event of a loss or device change. PIN codes will also help facilitate new features such as addressing that is not based solely on phone numbers, as the system’s address book will no longer be a convenient means of maintaining your contact network.

Alarm PINs are at least 4 digits long, but can be longer or alphanumeric if desired. Since Signal doesn’t have access to your keys or data, it’s impossible to recover your PIN if you forget it, so our apps help you remember your PIN with periodic reminders. Don’t worry, these reminders will become less frequent over time.

We’re excited to put Alarm PINs in your hands because we believe this technology will help deliver a number of new, useful and improved features while maintaining strong privacy and security.

The result

Replacing phone numbers with more identifiable account usernames is a popular idea in tech circles. Last week, Musk echoed Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s support for such a concept.

It’s unclear if calling and encrypted messaging will be available to all users or as part of the $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription.

The planned features could also be linked to Musk’s idea of ​​”making X the app to catch them all.” The world’s richest man bought the domain name X.com more than five years ago and has talked about creating a “super app” comparable to WeChat in China.

Sources: Elon Musk’s “Twitter 2.0” slide presentation, Twittersignal

And you?

What do you think about Elon Musk’s direction for the future of Twitter?
Encrypted private messaging, video and voice calling, features that might interest you on this platform? Why?
Could such features be preserved as part of the $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription to entice users to put their hands in their wallets? Why?

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