Google is Building a Chrome Plugin to Encrypt Your Email

This government-is-reading-all-my-emails thing is becoming more serious day by day. When all the techies have the know-how and corporations have the money-how, it is us, the commoners who are left out. But Google is working on something for us all.

Google is building a Chrome extension to help users encrypt their email communication without learning any geeky stuff.

Today, we’re adding to that list the alpha version of a new tool. It’s called End-to-End and it’s a Chrome extension intended for users who need additional security beyond what we already provide.

“End-to-end” encryption means data leaving your browser will be encrypted until the message’s intended recipient decrypts it, and that similarly encrypted messages sent to you will remain that way until you decrypt them in your browser.

List of Good-to-Know Things

Here are a few important things to note:

  • It is called End-toEnd
  • To be released as a Chrome extension
  • Project is opensource
  • Covered by the Google bug hunting program, and that means, you get paid for finding bugs
  • End-To-End implements the OpenPGP standard, IETF RFC 4880, enabling key generation, encryption, decryption, digital signature, and signature verification. 
  • You can find more technical details describing how we’ve architected and implemented End-to-End here.

Once the project is ready, Google will release the extension on the Chrome Web Store. It is most likely to support most of the popular email services of the day.

Thank you guys!

2 responses to “Google is Building a Chrome Plugin to Encrypt Your Email”

  1. Build instructions under Linux are here:

    Once built, you can use it on any OS of course.

    I used cygwin to build it, works fine except for a few caveats:

    – I was using Windows java so it did not recognize cygwin’s treatment of symlinks. You will need to copy zlib.js\tracearray\use.js to tracearray\use.js manually before doing the JS compile steps or they will fail.
    – You need to copy the HTML files by hand from the ui\ subdirectories as “find” does not seem to work in cygwin.

    Once built, you load unpacked from the extension\ directory and away you go.

    1. Oh yes one important note: It is not available pre-built since they are not comfortable with releasing it like that yet, as it is a security product and needs to be thoroughly vetted before public, widespread use. Don’t use it for anything important and don’t distribute the built files.

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