Signal app to Australia: Good luck with that crypto ban

Signal, one of the most secure messaging apps, essentially told Australia this week that its attempts to thwart strong crypto are rather cute.

“By design, Signal does not have a record of your contacts, social graph, conversation list, location, user avatar, user profile name, group memberships, group titles, or group avatars,” Joshua Lund, a Signal developer wrote.

 “The end-to-end encrypted contents of every message and voice/video call are protected by keys that are entirely inaccessible to us. In most cases now we don’t even have access to who is messaging whom.”

Lund is referring to a recent law passed in Australia that will fine companies that do not comply with government demands for encrypted data up to AUS$10 million.

The developer pointed out that while the Australian government could try to block the service or restrict access, “this strategy hasn’t worked very well.”

Signal users will find a way, he suggested.

“If a country decided to apply pressure on Apple or Google to remove certain apps from their stores, switching to a different region is extremely trivial on both Android and iOS,” he continued. “Popular apps are widely mirrored across the internet. Some of them can even be downloaded directly from their official website.”

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