Google Has Your Back, Releases End-To-End Email Encryption Plugin For Chrome

Our innocence lost, we now know that the National Security Agency (NSA) effectively strong arms technology companies far and wide into dishing out our personal information. It's a bum rap, and it may make you think twice about firing off that email to a friend or family member criticizing one of the government's policies, lest you both end up on some secret list. And then there are black hat hackers to worry about, especially if you're in possession of valuable data. As an added measure against third-party shenanigans, Google is adding a new tool to Chrome that should offer some additional peace of mind.

It's called End-to-End and it's a Chrome extension intended for users who need additional security beyond what Google already provides. At present, End-to-End is in alpha form.

"End-to-end encryption means data leaving your browser will be encrypted until the message's intended recipient decrypts it, and that similarly encrypted messages sent to you will remain that way until you decrypt them in your browser," Google explains in a blog post.

Keys and Keyboard

Google acknowledges the availability of existing end-to-end encryption tools like PGP and GnuPG, but says "they require a great deal of technical know-how and manual effort to use." The new tool for Chrome is intended to make encryption a bit easier.

If this is something you're interested in, stay tuned. End-to-End is not yet available in the Chrome Web Store -- instead, Google is sharing the code today so that the community can test and evaluate it. Once Google feels it's ready for prime time, it will be made available like any other extension.