Signal responds to subpoenas from US authorities over user data demands

Signal has an unparalleled reputation for security and privacy, highly endorsed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WhatsApp founder Brian Acton.

In hundreds of criminal investigations, U.S. authorities have been looking for information from a variety of sources, including oral testimony, evidence, and even posts and activity on social media and online platforms, including messaging apps.

Companies such as Facebook, Apple, and various manufacturers of smartphones and other smart devices are constantly receiving requests from the U.S. government to implement mechanisms that allow authorities to access classified information on these platforms. To comply with these orders, platforms such as WhatsApp have started publishing their own guidelines, rules submitted by developers to make their users’ information available to authorities.

While Signal said it could only provide a few timestamps in response to a user data jury subpoena it recently received from the Central District Court of California, according to a report by the company, U.S. authorities are continually trying to access its service users information, which is not possible given that the platform does not store user information and that no such records exist on its servers.

U.S. authorities are demanding extensive user information from Signal’s end-to-end encrypted, privacy-focused communications service, including targets’ usernames, names, dates of birth, photos, addresses, email addresses, financial information, work-related information, activity logs , Internet behavior information, communication records, etc.

  Signal responds to subpoenas from US authorities over user data demands

Additionally, Signal was asked not to notify users of the subpoena’s content.

“Signal still doesn’t know anything about you, but the government inexplicably continues to ask,” the communications platform noted in a blog post. In other words, Signal said it did not know any of the users’ names, addresses, contact lists, and call and message records.

  Signal responds to subpoenas from US authorities over user data demands

U.S. authorities subpoena

In publishing the new subpoena received by its legal team, Signal confirmed that it sent authorities the exact same response to the previous subpoena: In a dataset it identifies as “Account and Subscriber Information,” Signal only stores timestamps to identify accounts When was created, last network connection Unix timestamp and other minor details.

In addition to the search warrants, the platform also revealed that it received four confidential orders in a row in response to the requests. Signal last mentioned that the court that issued the order never confirmed receipt of a response or scheduled a hearing. The platform will continue to work on an ongoing basis to uphold its commitment to user privacy, and needless to say, this will not violate any of the rules in current U.S. legislation.

  Signal responds to subpoenas from US authorities over user data demands

Signal’s response

Signal’s response to the subpoena sent by the U.S. explained that the communication service is designed in a way that it prevents it from stealing users’ information or communications, and that messages and calls are always encrypted and inaccessible to third parties.

“Users’ calls and messages are always encrypted, so they cannot be shared or viewed by anyone other than the user and their intended recipients. Likewise, Signal has no access to its users’ profiles, group memberships or groups Group data, contacts, social graphs, searches, and more,” the response read.

So, in response to the subpoena, Signal provided only the information it could, namely the aforementioned timestamps (when the account was created, last network connection Unix timestamp, and other minor details).

You don’t even have me, so can you believe it?

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