In fact, the feature is currently only available to verified Twitter users, which includes Twitter Blue subscribers and those who are part of a “Verified Organization.” It’s unclear if this is just for an early rollout or if encryption will be added to the growing list of exclusive features for users with the check mark. Currently, an encrypted chat requires both users to be authenticated, the company.
There are also some significant limitations to the feature itself. It does not support group messages, or any type of media other than links. The company also does not allow users to report an encrypted message directly, advising on a help page that users should report accounts separately if they “encounter a issue with an encrypted conversation participant.”
Finally, the level of encryption seems less secure than what other apps offer. For one, the message metadata is not encrypted. Additionally, Twitter says that “currently, we do not provide protections against man-in-the-middle attacks” and suggests that the company itself is still able to access encrypted DMs. unknown to the participants. “If someone—for example, a malicious insider, or Twitter itself as a result of a forced legal process—compromise an encrypted conversation, either the sender or the recipient,” explained the company on a help page. It added that it is working on improvements that will make such exploits more “difficult.”
That’s notable because it lacks the standard Twitter owner Elon Musk described when expressing his desire to add encryption for Twitter DMs. He said he wants to make it impossible for the company to access users’ encrypted messages even if “someone puts a gun to our heads.”
In a tweet, Twitter security engineer Christopher Stanley acknowledged the flaw. “We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.”
For those who are verified and want to test the feature further, the encrypted message can be accessed through the info menu (that’s the same menu you use to block or report a conversation ) within a particular DM. Once encryption is enabled, encrypted messages appear as a separate message thread with labels above the chat to indicate that the conversation is encrypted.