Online privacy is a really delicate topic, especially after various reports revealed how the NSA and other governments have been spying on users all over the internet. We use instant messaging every day and for most of us concerned about our privacy, an encrypted messaging systems are very much welcomed. LINE is one of the most popular messaging systems out there and, although not the first one, the Japanese company has just announced a new feature called Letter Sealing to further protect messages as they are being sent. If you are asking yourself, "Letter sealing? What?", this is like the seal kings would put on medieval times to send their letters somewhere – a bold name to End-To-End encryption technique.
End-To-End Encryption (E2EE) means that everything is encrypted right before being sent through the network, and only the user has the encryption key, which makes it impossible for a third person to decrypt such content, including LINE itself, since they won't have they key in their servers. This isn't the first chat service to add E2EE. WhatsApp introduced the same feature about a year ago, and Telegram also comes bundled with such security measure. What makes LINE interesting is that the new encryption is available not only for the mobile apps for Android and iOS but also for both Mac and Windows desktops.
For now the Letter Sealing is available for all users with LINE 5.3 or higher. For now the feature is enabled in one-to-one conversations and protects messages and location sharing, and additional features will be covered in the future. If both users have the correct app version, the Sealing is turned on by default. Additionally, according to their press release, Android users with a single device registered will have the feature enabled by default, and Android users with multiple devices and iOS users will have it enabled by default in the near future. Meanwhile, it is possible for these users to enable the encryption layer manually – just head to More > Settings > Chats & Voice Calls > Letter Sealing on any device. LINE has also other security measures, including hidden chats, time-limited messages, passcode lock and a four-digit security pin.