Signal is a free and open-source encrypted voice calling and instant messaging application for mobile devices. It runs on both iOS and Android and uses advanced end-to-end encryption protocols to protect communications from prying eyes.
Signal has bean developed by Moxie Marlinspike, co-founded of the Open Whisper Systems firm. Today is circulating the news that the mobile app is now available also for desktop users.
On Wednesday the company issued a beta version of the Signal Desktop that for now works only as a Chrome app and links only to Android devices.
“Signal Desktop is a Chrome app which links with your phone, so all incoming and outgoing messages are displayed consistently on all your devices. Your contacts don’t have to guess where to message you, and when you switch devices the conversation you started will already be there.” states the official announcement from the company.
“As always, everything is end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered in order to keep your communication safe – allowing you to send high-quality private group, text, picture, and video messages for free,”
The popular hacker Marlinspike anticipated that Signal Desktop will be able to link also Apple devices “real soon now.”
The source code of the Signal app is free, open source, and available on GitHub, everyone can verify its implementation. Like other projects managed by the Open Whisper Systems, the development activities are supported through donations and grants.
Signal was a long debated, law enforcement claims the impossibility of investigating suspects who use it to protect communications.
The FBI director James Comey has publicly expressed its concerns about the abuse of encryption calling to Silicon Valley to help law enforcement figure out the “Going Dark” issue.
In the days following the Paris attacks intelligence agents and law enforcement raised the concerns about possible abuse of terrorists of encrypted apps, including Signal.
The IT giants always refused to insert a backdoor in their products and authorities are powerless regarding this decision
“We’d like to bring the technical reality in line with people’s expectations and assumptions. People expect and assume that their correspondence is private, and are shocked and outraged when it is inevitably compromised,” explained Marlinspike. “Our hope is to fix that, so that when people feel like they’re corresponding privately, they really are. Basically, we’d like to make mass surveillance impossible.”
(Security Affairs – Signal app, encryption)