Twitter announced today that it has beefed up the security of its traffic as a way of better protecting its users from dragnet surveillance.
Using a technique called “forward secrecy,” the company is now encrypting all connections made to the site using HTTPS in such a way that even if someone was to record the encrypted traffic running to and from Twitter’s servers and get the key that encrypts it, they still wouldn’t be able to read what was being said, because of a second, ephemeral session key that’s also encrypting the data.
The change comes after revelations that the NSA has been tapping fiber-optic cables that make up a key part of the Internet’s backbone, and then working to decrypt any encrypted traffic that it acquires. That news was enough to cause both Facebook and Google to implement forward secrecy earlier this year.
It’s worth noting that forward secrecy doesn’t do anything about Twitter’s potential need to comply with a court order, but the change will do a great deal to combat dragnet surveillance.
If you want the full details about how Twitter plans to implement the system, check out the company’s blog post about the new capabilities. Fair warning: it gets very technical, very quickly.