Facebook Shuts Down Encryption Extension for Messenger

Privacy symbol with digital globe, 3d render

**Update** TechCrunch, Lifehacker and other blogs reported on the Crypter browser extension yesterday. It looks like Facebook has ‘Depreciated’ the Crypter extension and it is no longer functioning.

A new browser extension app called Crypter has been created that allows Facebook users to completely encrypt Facebook Messenger chats. Although the app’s creators updated their website to say that it had “depreciated” since Facebook discovered it, they still encouraged users to download Crypter. Updates for the extension will be pushed out automatically, so even if Facebook temporarily prevents it from working, a future update could get it back up and running.

“We had an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude, in designing Crypter,” said Max Mitchell, the app’s creator. “Instead of inviting users to join a brand new chat application we decided to apply it to an already established one—Facebook. And at the same time making sure that we don’t interrupt with our users existing habits… The application basically sits silently in your conversations and works efficiently when you want to use it.” 

According to Mitchell, Crypter could have several important uses, including shielding users from government spying, preventing advertisers from obtaining private data, and even helping protesters and other oppressed groups around the world communicate. The key point, however, is simple: even if you have nothing to hide, privacy is an important right. That’s doubly true online, where it’s never been easier for your sensitive info to fall into the wrong hands.