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Instagram makes encrypted direct messaging available in Ukraine and Russia

Instagram makes encrypted direct messaging available in Ukraine and Russia

Announcing the availability of encrypted one-to-one chats on Instagram for all adults in both Ukraine and Russia is part of a series of actions Meta (previously Facebook) in response to the conflict in Ukraine, which have included restricting access to state media and increasing efforts around fact-checking.

Users on Instagram will also be made aware of the choice via a notice that shows at the top of their direct message inbox, informing them that they may decide to have their discussion be encrypted if they so want.

The encryption feature was previously included in other Meta-owned applications, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. It’s the default setting on WhatsApp. However, for text conversations, end-to-end encryption will not be enabled by default until at least 2023, although the firm has been offering the option to activate end-to-end encryption for text chats on Messenger for years. In addition, it completed the rollout of end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls in Messenger in January of this year.

The corporation explained its choice to make the safety measures accessible in both Ukraine and Russia simultaneously. It was stated that Russian activists who spoke out against the war might be put in danger if they did not choose to do so.

According to Meta’s president of global relations, Nick Clegg, who was just promoted from his previous position as vice president, “prominent Russian producers and influencers, activists and singers, are utilizing Facebook and Instagram to get information and speak out against the invasion.” “We want to ensure that they can continue to do so.” He went on to say, “And we want people in Russia to be able to continue to hear from President Zelenskyy and others in Ukraine.”

Several additional adjustments have been implemented by Meta over the last several days as the issue has progressed, even while the Russian government has curtailed access to the company’s services.

End-users will notice that the modifications aren’t only confined to encrypted Instagram DMs. According to Clegg, Facebook has implemented new safety features for users in Ukraine and Russia, including the option to lock one’s Facebook profile and disable the ability to access and search one’s friend list. The “Lock Profile” function was introduced in India in 2020 as a safety measure for women. It stops Facebook users from reading the posts and images of individuals with whom they are not friends and from zooming into or downloading those users’ profile pictures or cover photos, among other things.

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