- The ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ live-action redesign is a marked improvement 3 Years Ago
- U.S. gamers create as much carbon dioxide as 5 million cars 3 Years Ago
- Disney+ TV characters like Ms. Marvel will appear in MCU movies Today 8:04 AM
- Apple TV+ offers something for younger viewers with ‘Helpsters’ Today 8:01 AM
- How to watch ‘The Mandalorian’ Today 7:34 AM
- ‘Snoopy in Space’ is a delightful kids show that parents will love too Today 7:08 AM
- How to watch ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Today 7:00 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Let It Snow’ delivers a stocking full of rom-com coal Today 6:41 AM
- Student allegedly posted roommate’s ‘missing’ flyer on Instagram before being charged with her murder Monday 11:45 PM
- Reddit AITA: Man verbally abused partner through cat impersonations Monday 7:18 PM
- Facebook finally lets you kill distracting navigation bar notifications Monday 6:14 PM
- Artist says Thinx underwear campaign ripped off their memes (updated) Monday 5:48 PM
- Google reportedly gathering millions of Americans’ personal health records Monday 5:00 PM
- Trina goes off on Walmart shopper who allegedly called her the ‘N-word’ Monday 4:14 PM
- Bored of Helvetica? iOS users finally have some new font options Monday 4:00 PM
Encryption app Signal wins fight against FBI subpoena and gag order
Signal didn’t have the information the FBI wanted, but it fought back anyway.
The makers of Signal, Open Whisper Systems, profoundly disappointed law enforcement. The app collects as little data as possible and therefore was unable to hand anything useful over to agents.
Here’s a view of what police actually yielded from the subpoena.
“That’s not because Signal chose not to provide logs of information,” ACLU lawyer Brett Kaufman told the Associated Press. “It’s just that it couldn’t.”
“The Signal service was designed to minimize the data we retain,” Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems, told the New York Times.
The subpoena came with a yearlong gag order that was successfully challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Such gag orders have been used against tech giants including Microsoft. Critics argue they violate the targets’ rights.
Signal’s creators challenged the gag order as unconstitutional, “because it is not narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest.” The challenge was successful.
In addition to being popularly considered the best consumer encrypted messaging app available, Signal’s technology is used by Facebook for Secret Conversations, WhatsApp for encrypted messages, and Google’s Allo.
Confronted with the subpoena, Marlinspike went to the ACLU for legal counsel. The ACLU responded with a letter saying that even though Signal did not have data the FBI sought, it still strenuously objected to the fact the FBI wanted so much information.
Signal’s app, available on Android, iPhone, Windows, and Macs, is now on the front lines of a global debate over encryption.
FBI director James Comey has argued that criminals and terrorists are increasingly using encryption to “go dark” and avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
The White House recently distanced itself from any legislation that would forcefully break encryption. The idea of government-mandated backdoors lost steam in Congress as well over the last year.
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.