CPJ welcomes Facebook move to add PGP encryption features

San Francisco, June 1, 2015–Facebook today announced that it would offer users a field to post PGP encryption keys on their profiles, and that it will use the encryption standard to protect the contents of notification emails. The improvements were announced on the social network’s security blog and will gradually be rolled out to all the site’s users over the coming hours.

“Security tools like PGP encryption are most effective when they are used widely,” said CPJ Internet Advocacy Coordinator Geoffrey King. “Facebook has taken an important step to help protect users’ private communications by default, and make the risky environment in which journalists work a little bit safer.”

More than 935 million people use Facebook on average every day, according to the site’s most recent statistics. Last year, Facebook added a Tor hidden access point to the site, making it easier for users of the anonymity service to securely log in. The addition of Tor and PGP encryption is a substantial improvement in safety and usability for journalists who use Facebook to disseminate news, connect with sources, and communicate with colleagues.