Interoperable Encrypted Messaging: Google Leads the Way


Google says it “strongly supports regulatory efforts that require interoperability for major end-to-end messaging platforms,” which likely refers to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. This regulation would require iMessage to be interoperable with other messaging platforms. To achieve this, Google says this interoperability requires “open, industry-validated standards, particularly in the area of end-to-end privacy, security, and encryption.” Otherwise, end-to-end encrypted group messaging and other advanced features would be “impractically impossible”. Specifically, “group messages should be encrypted and transmitted multiple times to account for each different protocol.”

According to Google, MLS would enable “practical interoperability between services and platforms, extending to groups of thousands of multi-device users”. It is also flexible enough to enable providers to address new threats to user privacy and security, such as quantum computing. Google plans to integrate MLS into its Messages app, which today offers RCS E2EE 1:1 and group chats, and “support its broad industry rollout by opening up our implementation in the Android codebase.” It remains to be seen how RCS fits into this project.

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