Looks like Google Messages is starting to test End-to-end encryption even in group chats: On Reddit a user reported this in the past few hours. It is one of the few major shortcomings remaining to allow the app and the RCS protocol in general, as Google is pushing a lot as a new strategy in the messaging world, to level the features with the major players in this sector, such as WhatsApp or iMessage.
Cryptography has been observed in a densely populated group consisting of Google Messages users and Samsung peer users. Upon investigation a bit, it turned out that it was one example of a Google client that activated encryption. The company announced earlier this year that it had begun work to bring E2EE (end-to-end encryption) to group chats, and aims to get Feature open beta by end of 2022. For now, it’s still too early to say we’re at that point, but at least something is moving.
It remains to be seen how the actual implementation of the feature will work. At the moment, it appears that all clients of the group chat participants must explicitly activate it, otherwise true E2E encryption will not be obtained. It’s easy to assume that it will be enabled by default in the future. To be clear: there is currently no toggle, toggle, or even a more complex procedure that allows a user to enable or disable encryption. All this happens on the server side as per the wishes of the developers Google is working on the project.