ISIS has developed its own encrypted messaging app

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In an effort to combat terrorism online, many governments have been pushing to make encryption backdoors mandatory for private companies, and if they succeed, terrorist organizations will find it significantly more difficult to communicate privately. At least, that’s what pro-backdoor politicians would like you to believe, but considering how ISIS has developed its own encrypted messaging app to get around these backdoors, they seem more like an excuse to spy on people than an actual anti-terrorism measure. 

ISIS has been blocked out of many messaging apps already, so the organization has decided to create its own encrypted Android messaging app for organizing terrorist attacks and other mayhem in secrecy. According to information from the Ghost Security Group, this isn’t the sort of messaging app that is available through the Play Store. Instead, the app, apparently known as Alrawi, is only available through hidden parts of the internet as a downloadable APK that ISIS would then sideload onto their handsets. The Alrawi app allows ISIS to communicate through encrypted channels, albeit in a more rudimentary way than public encrypted messaging apps like Telegram. The primary function of the app is to distribute propaganda to the followers of ISIS, such as news and videos, although the messaging functionality is almost certainly used for other, more sinister means. As someone affiliated with ISIS developed the app, group members feel safe using it as they know it doesn’t contain a government backdoor. However, judging by reports from GhostSec and others, the encryption systems don’t sound as tight as bigger and more well-known apps, meaning it could be vulnerable to hacking.

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