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Will the Signal messaging app defy Tech Giant censorship?

Available on Android and iOS, the application Signal is popular for being particularly secure, and for having no connection with Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp.

Published: January 16, 2021, 9:19 am

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    Signal is a secure messaging application, available on Android and iOS. It allows one to exchange in writing, between two people or in a group, to make audio or video calls or to send files. In short, it works like almost all popular messaging systems, but it is also known to be, since its release in 2014, particularly well secured.

    On Monday, January 11, it was among the most downloaded free applications on the application stores of Google and Apple. On Twitter, the teams boasted, on Sunday, of “continuing to explode traffic records”, explaining that they were working to reduce the disruptions and slowdowns resulting from this unexpected success.

    Two separate events have helped make Signal very popular in recent days. First, the announcement by WhatsApp, the most used messaging system in the world, of a change in its conditions of use.

    Signal also seems to have benefited, indirectly, from the closure of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, then from the decommissioning of the social network of the American Parler. Many American Internet users, supporters of Donald Trump, have therefore sought in recent days new social networks that are more secure or do not belong to Facebook, Google or Twitter.

    Signal is considered by many experts in computer security as the best application in terms of confidentiality. It has a very robust encryption system and by default of all exchanged content. By way of comparison, the Telegram application, often presented as being also secure, does not however apply, by default, encryption to all the discussions of its users. In fact, users must ensure that the option is activated for each of their exchanges. This is also the case with Facebook Messenger.

    In addition to being encrypted by default, Signal has several useful options for chatting securely with others. For example: self-destruction of messages exchanged after a few minutes or a few seconds.

    The once welcoming Telegram has since suspended content which they consider to be “hate speech” even after their explosive growth because of American competitors had been deplatforming supporters of President Donald Trump.

    The accounts, which according to TechCrunch were “an organized network of neo-Nazi and white supremacist accounts” called for violence, Telegram said. “In the past 24 hours we have blocked dozens of public channels that published calls to violence for thousands of subscribers,” said Telegram spokesperson Mike Ravdonikas.

    NBC News reported that “at least 15 extremist” channels had been purged by the platform. Ravdonikas admitted that the anti-Trump hype in the US had affected Telegram’s moderation policies. Therefore, “white supremacy” and any form of “right-wing extremism” would no longer be tolerated.

    A concerted effort is underway in the US to overcharge mostly peaceful pro-Trump protesters on Capitol Hill as though they’re violent insurrectionists. The effort is directed by politically motivated federal prosecutors even though the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, has admitted to Reuters that authorities do not have “any direct evidence” of a plot to kidnap and kill lawmakers by Capitol protesters.

    The legal filing by federal prosecutors claiming that “the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government” has been the top story in all American mainstream media outlets.

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