Looking back at how Signal works, as the world moves forward

by Volker Weber

What if the worst should happen, and some unauthorized party were to compromise Signal? We don’t have to speak hypothetically, because the US government already tried this, so we can examine what that looked like. In 2016, the US government obtained access to Signal user data through a grand jury subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia. However, there wasn’t (and still isn’t) really anything to obtain. At the time, we worked with the ACLU to fight the gag order that was intended to prevent us from publishing this information, so you can see the full subpoena and response here.

The only Signal user data we have, and the only data the US government obtained as a result, was the date of account creation and the date of last use – not user messages, groups, contacts, profile information, or anything else.

Good enough for me. Probably good enough for you.

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