Edward Snowden, the famous NSA whistleblower, has recommended that users stay away from Google’s latest IM app, called Allo, released at last week’s Google I/O conference.
Google released the app, even if it already had a solid position on the market with its Hangouts application. Nobody except Google’s top brass will ever know why Allo exists, but the app does come with some cool features like Incognito Mode, which uses end-to-end encryption and self-deleting messages.
Unfortunately, none of these features are turned on by default. If a user hears about these privacy-enhancing features and installs the app, he won’t benefit from any of them out of the get-go.
He’ll have to go into the app’s settings and turn them on, and most people don’t know they have to do this.
Google researcher edits blog post after revealing that Allo doesn’t use E2EE
Something like this has been highlighted by a Google researcher last week. The result? The Google engineer has heavily edited and deleted sections of his( ) in less than a day.
has a breakdown of all the edits the engineer made. Common sense points to a conclusion that someone in Google’s PR contacted the engineer and put a muzzle on his tell-all exposé.
From a Google engineer that was revealing that Allo wasn’t actually deleting messages sent in Incognito Mode and that he’ll fight to get Incognito Mode turned on by default for all users, the blog post was transformed into a third-party consultant that wasn’t actually saying anything bad about Allo.
The lesson from this, as Edward Snowden pointed out, is that bosses read blog posts and that Allo doesn’t have any immediate plans to turn on end-to-end encryption on by default for all users, just like WhatsApp. Oh, because if you didn’t know by now, WhatsApp doesn’t use end-to-end encryption on by default as well.
In the meantime, this debacle has convinced Edward Snowden that Google might not have the user’s best interests at heart, and has recommended that we should use another app if we like our privacy.
Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its newchat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe. Avoid it for now. — Edward Snowden (@Snowden)
‘s security expert blogged, discussing how is unsafe by default.
Hours later, he erased that part.
Lesson: Bosses read blogs
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden)