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Taking Back Our Privacy

The New Yorker – Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of the end-to-end encrypted messaging service Signal, is “trying to bring normality to the Internet. “…Marlinspike is the C.E.O. of Signal, the end-to-end encrypted messaging service, which he launched in 2014; he is also a cryptographer, a hacker, a shipwright, and a licensed mariner…Marlinspike believes that encrypted-communication tools are necessary not just in times of political tumult. Most people who use social networks and chat services, he argues, assume that their digital communications are private; they want to share their thoughts and photographs with their friends—not with Facebook and Google, not with advertisers, and certainly not on the dark Web…Signal, as a nonprofit, is an outlier in the tech industry. It runs entirely on donations. “Signal’s mission has always been to make end-to-end encryption as ubiquitous as possible, rather than a commercial success,” Marlinspike said. Its code base is open-source—publicly available for anyone to download and comment on—and subject to peer review. Most tech companies readily coöperate, and make contracts, with governments, but Signal was founded on the premise that mass surveillance, particularly by governments and corporations, should be impossible. Signal itself cannot read the messages that its users send, and does not collect user metadata. It keeps no call logs or data backups. Signal claims that it has no “backdoors”—built-in circumvention methods designed to give law enforcement or corporations access to encrypted content…”

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