An updated alpha version of End-to-End Chrome extension has been released by Google and is available on the GitHub code hosting service.
Google is moving steadily towards delivering an end-to-end encryption tool for Chrome users and a lot of input comes from open-source community as well as Yahoo is also involved in creating this tool.
The prereleased updated alpha version that the company moved to and made available on GitHub code hosting service includes a few new implementations and bug fixes contributed by the Yahoo security team and by other contributors that participated in the Vulnerability Reward Program, Stephan Somogyi, Manager of Security and Privacy, noted in a blog post.
Somogyi also noted that the wiki for this End-to-End encryption project has been updated and expanded with new documentation for interested security researches and developers to contribute for the project and also learn more about it.
However, Google is not yet going to make End-to-End available in the Chrome Web Store and will take its time till they feel ready to release a proper tool.
Key distribution and management can be called one of the most difficult usability problems to solve related with cryptography products. The company is not going to release a non-alpha of an End-to-End till they have a solution that will fulfill all its requirements.
New insights were made when new documentation was posted on the project providing new details about how Google is planning to use a centralized key server model to enable the end-to-end encryption tool for Chrome. It is a different way and said to be an easier method than to use the decentralized key distribution and verification models that are now utilized by email encryption solutions.
If Google will successfully implement this centralized key server model for End-to-End project, then a user wishing to send and receive encrypted emails would first be required to register with a Key Directory that is managed by user’s email provider. A public key would then be dedicated to the user’s email, this key could then be used by anyone to send en encrypted email to that user.
In a documentation provided by Google, a goal is written that the company wants to make true, it is to take away any need for the user to know anything about how to operate encryption keys and in the same time make a reliable scheme that would assure users of the encryption provided.
The End-to-End was initially announced by Google back in June, at which time the company defined the Chrome extension as very user friendly and easy to use tool for users in need for additional encryption for their email messages. The tool will also enable to digitally sign and also verify signed email message simply with the use of the browser. The Chrome extension for encrypting your emails is based on OpenPGP standard, an encryption protocol that is largely used by other vendors. Google’s End-to-End extension will not need lots of technical knowledge on how to use it, unlike other encryption tools like GnuPG or PGP.
Google has published the source code of the tool on the GitHub for the open-source community to contribute and learn about the project more. The company thinks that End-to-End must be an open source project.
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