Line is adding a new layer of protection for its users by introducing end-to-end encryption in its mobile messaging app. ‘Letter Sealing’ will replace Line’s existing method of encrypting messages with a more secure system by allowing the users to exchange public keys instead of having server side encryption.
Encryption is not a new thing in messaging apps, with Whatsapp and Telegram already employing the technology. What Line is doing is catching up in a world where there is increasing surveillance; both from governments and individuals. Admittedly, Line already has an encrypted messaging option available; but it requires a different chat window and does not appear to be all that popular with users. Line also admits that its previous RSA based system had more weaknesses than it would like.
That being said, Letter Sealing is an odd name to call the encryption option. Line explains this by recalling historical methods of sealing letters with wax seals, but the name may make only more confusing for less tech savvy users to find. This is especially since the option is not automatically turned on for most users. One other small problem with Letter Sealing is that it requires both ends of the messaging to have the option turned on to work.
Letter Sealing will also be rolling out to other platforms that run Line, but there is no timeline for when these will be made available.