Signal, The Private Messaging App

Signal Private Messaging App

So I’m finally giving the Signal messaging app a try. It’s the same messaging app that Edward Snowden uses because it’s currently the most secure platform there is.

Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe. We can’t read your messages or see your calls, and no one else can either.

It works just like a standard messaging app, using your phone number, except there are no stickers or animojis. You can also configure it to delete sent and received messages after a specified time period.

But I don’t have anything to hide!

For those who think “I don’t have anything to hide, why do I need such a secure messaging app?” Check out this TED Talk by Glenn Greenwald on why privacy matters. Greenwald was the first journalist Snowden tried to reach. Snowden contacted Greenwald anonymously and said he had “sensitive documents” that he would like to share.

What about WhatsApp?

Apparently, WhatsApp also uses the same secure-messaging protocol from Open Whisper Systems, the maker of the messaging app Signal., but Facebook owns WhatsApp and Facebook’s thing is to collect as much data as they can and sell ads. So no bueno.

And according to the WhatsApp privacy policy, the company records information, otherwise known as message metadata, and may give it to governments:

WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect.

That means that it can see that someone contact a suicide center, but it won’t be able to see what messages were sent.

Be safe or be sorry.

I know these things aren’t foolproof. There’s ALWAYS a way around these things, like if there’s some malware on your phone that takes screenshots every few seconds, it can still see the messages you type or read.

But I’m willing to give this a try. This would have come in handy if I were still working behind The Great Firewall. Download from iTunes or Google Play and text me.

Lightsaber Escape

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Work is sometimes a battle.
Google’s latest Chrome experiment: play here.

If you haven’t tried any of these before, your phone acts as a lightsaber controller, with syncing taking place between the Chrome app on your phone, and the Chrome browser on your desktop computer.