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No More WhatsApp! The EU Commission Switches To ‘Signal’ For Internal Communication

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Security

In a move to improve the cyber-security, EU has recommended its staff to use open source secure messaging app Signal instead of the popular apps like WhatsApp.

Signal is an open source secure messaging application with end to end encryption. It is praised by the likes of Edward Snowden and other privacy activists, journalists and researchers. We’ve recently covered it in our ‘open source app of the week‘ series.

Signal is in news for good reasons. The European Union Commissions have instructed its staff to use Signal for public instant messaging.

This is part of EU”s new cybersecurity strategy. There has been cases of data leaks and hacking against EU diplomats and thus policy is being put in place to encourage better security practices.

Read more

From Proprietary WhatsApp to Free Software

  • New WhatsApp Security Blow: Political Staffers Move To Signal—Here’s Why That Matters

    You have to admire the irony. Politicians and lawmakers around the world continue to rail against the use of end-to-end messaging encryption, with market-leading WhatsApp judged the main culprit in securing nefarious communications. But, even as that debate rages, the EU Commission has instructed its staffers to use Signal instead of WhatsApp (or anything else). It’s more secure, they have been told, for messaging the outside world. That would be the end-to-end encryption at work.

    As reported by Politico, the move comes as a response to the various “high-profile incidents” that have “shocked diplomats and officials.” Staffers were given the instructions earlier this month. Signal is seen as a more secure option to WhatsApp—operated by a non-profit foundation, and is heralded alongside Wickr for its security first and above all else approach.

    The EU is undergoing cybersecurity improvements after the long-term interception of diplomatic cables was exposed in late 2018. And politicians have been spooked by the trail of high-profile cyber risk that has seen compromises of both Android and iOS devices by nation-state exploits in the last year. Until recently, WhatsApp had become the default messaging tool for groups of politicians and staffers, but there has been a gradual shift to alternatives for more secure communications.

    Underpinning Signal is an open-source platform judged more secure because its code is accessible by its community—you can’t hide vulnerabilities this way. WhatsApp’s security is based on Signal’s protocol, but its implementation is not open-source and so does not have the same level of transparency. Signal has until recently been seen as much more specialist than WhatsApp, but now has aspirations to go “mainstream,” as reported by Wired last week.

Signal becomes European Commission’s messaging app of choice

  • Signal becomes European Commission’s messaging app of choice in security clampdown

    The European Commission has told its staff to switch to the encrypted Signal messaging app in a move that’s designed to increase the security of its communications. Politico reports that, earlier this month, a message on the commission’s internal messaging boards notified employees about the change. “Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging,” the message to the EU’s executive branch says.

    According to Politico, Signal will not be used for all communication. Encrypted emails will be used to send non-classified but sensitive information, and classified documents use tighter security measures still. Signal, meanwhile, is intended to be used for external communications between staff and people outside the organization.

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