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Twitter thumbs nose at NSA, adds extra security blanket

Joining Yahoo and Google, Twitter is the latest tech giant to promote its tactics for preventing decryption of sensitive user data.
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Written by Rachel King, Staff Writer on
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Following up a similar move by Google earlier this week, Twitter has announced that it is adding forward secrecy to its digital doors.

Forward secrecy is gaining traction with many top tech properties lately as it adds a new property to prevent cyber criminals from using cracked and/or stolen session keys to decrypt recorded traffic for nefarious purposes.

But decryption prevention methods are also being implemented far more in order to both thwart off monitoring by federal agencies and save face with users.

The micro-blogging platform actually wasn't one of the nine original tech giants revealed back in June to be utilized as a source for the National Security Agency's now-controversial data mining program, PRISM.

That is likely because virtually anyone can sign up for Twitter, and for an unlimited number of accounts, with information that doesn't necessarily need to be authentic.

Just one out of millions of examples of fake Twitter accounts includes one established this week dedicated to Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff's Christian Louboutin shoes worn during his fireside chat with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday. (Needless to say, the haute couture, multi-colored hi-tops drew the attention of the tech press in the audience, for better or worse.)

Nevertheless, the San Francisco-headquartered company, which recently underwent one of the most buzzed-about IPOs in recent memory, is taking a proactive approach and also ensuring its name is in the mix of Silicon Valley giants taking a public stand against the U.S. Government's data collection methods.

Jacob Hoffman-Andrews from Twitter's product security team took things further in a blog post on Friday, positing that forward secrecy "should be the new normal for web service owners."

"Our work on deploying forward secrecy is just the latest way in which Twitter is trying to defend and protect the user’s voice in that world," remarked Hoffman-Andrews.

While he didn't explain the other methods Twitter is already employing or at least developing in this particular post, Hoffman-Andrews extensively outlined how forward secrecy is being implemented for shoring up security on twitter.com, api.twitter.com, and mobile.twitter.com.

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