Signal Messenger: Open Whisper Systems Private Chat & Video?
True anonymity is increasingly difficult on the internet as surveillance tools exponentially increase across all platforms and devices. Laptops, smartphones, and gaming devices often require personal information to access their content and keep track of what their users interact with.
Moreover, many companies sell this information, calling into question not only the protection of individual identity but also the freedom to partake in online activities without identification. While it may be the case that situations exist in which this is justified, such as potentially dangerous or harmful circumstances, it seems that for regular, basic use of the internet, something is wrong.
Communication is one area in which privacy seems warranted. Users often assume that their messaging service is anonymous and secure, allowing them to communicate with a social network within a contained mainframe.
Whatsapp, for example, is a commonly used messaging platform that might provide users with a sense of safety. The reality, however, is that third-party organizations and external agencies are able to access the information that is transferred online, often without the user’s knowledge.
Signal Messenger: The Basics
Founded in end-to-end encryption, Signal Messenger is a messaging app that allows users to communicate with anonymity in the sense that the source of each message cannot be detected by outside parties. Conceptually, this service functions as open source software.
With this setup, users can send data as videos, text messages, and pictures across the major operating systems including both iOS and Android.
Signal Messenger Core Features
As mentioned, Signal Messenger is open source, allowing independent developers to examine its fundamental algorithms. This is similar to the development of cryptocurrencies in the blockchain, which allows anyone to see the transactions being made. This functions as a security setting in the sense that users themselves are able to look at the software and patrol whether third party agencies are trying to add features that would collect personal information.
Because Signal uses the data an individual would receive from a service provider, it bestows no additional costs upon the user.
Proponents of increased transparency and individual protection such as Edward Snowden have supported Signal since its launch. Voices on this side of the debate claim that Signal is the only truly anonymous service currently available to the public. Similarly, community members are active in scrutinizing the service, promoting an even greater responsibility to transparency.
Again, Signal’s open source conception and end-to-end encryption are vital features in protecting personal information. Encryption on both ends prevents anyone from locating the source of the transmitted data so that participating parties cannot be identified.
How to Use Signal Messenger
As an app, users simply have to download Signal Messenger through the store that corresponds with their smart device. Currently Signal appears to be compatible with all service providers including Android, iOS, and desktops.
In terms of accessibility, the file can be downloaded in just a few minutes and does not take up much space on the device hard drive. Once the app is installed and functioning, its navigation is relatively intuitive and straightforward.
For these reasons, Signal seems to be the ideal messaging service for those concerned with internet privacy. Especially for those unfamiliar with a lot of the surveillance going on, maneuvering online security can be confusing.