The NSA has made its dislike of encryption abundantly clear, something made even clearer last week when the agency’s director called for companies to allow the government to insert backdoors into their communications software. With that in mind, I imagine the NSA is going to absolutely loath Signal, a new messaging app that makes it easy for users to send encrypted pictures, text messages, and videos to almost anyone with a smartphone.
The NSA is not thrilled about the fact that encrypted communications are becoming easier and more widespread than ever before. Its director, Admiral Mike Rogers, said as much last week during a cybersecurity event in Washington, D.C., where he joined the FBI in asking for a “legal framework” by which government agencies can insert backdoors into commonly used communications software. So chances are, NSA and co. are not going to like Signal, a cross-platform app that now lets you send encrypted text, picture and video messages to virtually anyone with a smartphone. The free app is made by Open Whisper Systems, makers of TextSecure and Redphone, which allow Android users to send end-to-end encrypted texts and calls, respectively. That means that short of someone hacking your phone and stealing your encryption keys, no one—not even the app’s creators—can eavesdrop on your calls and texts.