A Signal Failure

professor rat pro2rat at yahoo.com.au
Wed Apr 5 09:50:00 PDT 2023

Some members of the privacy community, including Snowden, criticize Signal’s requirement that each user sign up with a phone number; others object to Signal’s default setting that alerts users every time a contact joins the service. And, although all of Signal’s source code is open-source and peer-reviewed, most users cannot be certain whether it is identical to the code deployed in the apps they download, or to the code that is actually running on Signal’s servers. Others argue that Signal should be federated, or decentralized: rather than trusting a single organization to remain stable, invulnerable, uncompromised, and oriented toward their needs, participants should be able to run their own servers.


Signal Fails, an anonymous zine recently published on several anarchist Web sites, warns against dependency on a centralized service, particularly one running on mobile devices. “If your device is compromised with a keylogger or other malicious software, it doesn’t really matter how secure your communications are,” the zine reads. Were anarchists to “pose a major threat to the established order,” the government would “come for us and our infrastructure without mercy.”

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