Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Battle Inside Signal

Casey Newton (The Verge, Hacker News):

But Signal’s rapid growth has also been a cause for concern. In the months leading up to and following the 2020 US presidential election, Signal employees raised questions about the development and addition of new features that they fear will lead the platform to be used in dangerous and even harmful ways. But those warnings have largely gone unheeded, they told me, as the company has pursued a goal to hit 100 million active users and generate enough donations to secure Signal’s long-term future.

Employees worry that, should Signal fail to build policies and enforcement mechanisms to identify and remove bad actors, the fallout could bring more negative attention to encryption technologies from regulators at a time when their existence is threatened around the world.


Employees have been told that for Signal to become self-sustaining, it will need to reach 100 million users. At that level, executives expect that donations will cover its costs and support the development of additional products that the company has considered, such as email or file storage.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter

We're living increasingly in a world where many people's definition of "bad actor" is someone who disagrees with them politically (not just law breakers).

It shouldn't be up to the employees of Signal to impose their views and decide this. Legally they could, of course, but it will kill their brand.

This really comes off like Bernstein and his friends in the press just wanting to bring Signal down.

The last story really didn’t gain any traction, so they ran it again. There’s nothing new here,

It’s just another attempt to either get Signal to “moderate” (can’t be done in E2EE) “bad actors” (whoever they don’t like).

There’s a lesson here: NEVER bring “members of the press” into your organization unless you want guaranteed trouble in the future. And don’t feel obligated to talk to them.

And if people like Bernstein violate their NDAs or damage the org, go after them.

Leo seems ... conflicted ... about free speech.

eas seems confused about what "free speech" means.

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