The new tool, which uses the OpenPGP standard, allows encryption and decryption of messages sent from the browser.
Google has announced a new tool that will allow users to encrypt and decrypt email messages. The new End-to-End Chrome extension, which will be made available in the Google Chrome Store, offers an added security beyond what Google already provides.
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Currently an alpha version, the extension encrypts messages sent from a user's browser. That message will remain encrypted unless the intended recipient decrypts it, Google says. It also works the other way around.
Google decided to develop the tool because it found other end-to-end encryption tools too difficult to use. Tools like PGP and GnuPG, for example, require technical knowledge.
For now, Google is releasing the source code of the extension to developers, with the goal of launching the full version in the Chrome Web Store in the coming months. Releasing a flawed security tool is the last thing that Google wants to do right now.
"We recognize that this sort of encryption will probably only be used for very sensitive messages or by those who need added protection. But we hope that the End-to-End extension will make it quicker and easier for people to get that extra layer of security should they need it," writes Stephan Somogyi, Google's Product Manager for Security and Privacy.
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