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Signal App to Australia: You tried to ban cryptography? How cute! Good Luck with the ban!

AluminiumTech
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ArsTechnica reports that Signal App, one of the most (if not the most) secure and privacy oriented messaging app out there and 100% Snowden approved, has commented on the situation with Australia's Cryptography ban.

 

The developers have told Australia that they think this new ban is cute and good luck with enforcing it.

 

When developers of messaging apps simply don't have means to access the cryptographic keys used to encrypt a chat, there's really nothing the Australian government can do but watch in disbelief that anybody would actually design an app to be private and secure. ?

 

Quote

Signal, one of the most secure messaging apps, essentially told Australia this week that its attemptsto 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."

 

Quote

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."

 

Good job Signal! Show Australia who's boss! Encryption, that's who :D

 

As someone who has been using Signal app for the better part of 9 months I'm definitely happy Signal is standing their ground and protecting the people from outdated and unpopular government officials who make laws based on bad decisions.

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thats about the same as the usa trying to regulate bitcoin. good luck cause we dont know who made bitcoin and who says they will listen and on top of that how can you enforce it on something that has no physical entity

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Honestly, If I were a tech company CEO I'd just reach out to the top 10 tech companys and boycott Australia,

 

Imagine the public outrage if apple, google, facebook, twitter, microsoft, amazon, samsung, etc just stopped support aus services, when you go to use them you just got a pop up that said "due to legislation that had been brought into place by the Australian Gov your laws are no longer compatible with our service" 

 

There soon would be a U turn.  

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Just now, Ben Quigley said:

Honestly, If I were a tech company CEO I'd just read out to the top 10 tech companys and boycott Australia,

 

Imagine the public outrage if apple, google, facebook, twitter, microsoft, amazon, samsung, etc just stopped support aus services, when you go to use them you just got a pop up that said "due to legislation that had been brought into place by the Australian Gov your laws are no longer compatible with our service" 

 

There soon would be a U turn.  

that might work or it would give the government fuel to hate the company more if they spin it right but yes odds are it would be in the peoples best interest to do that as it show the companies are no longer going to be push overs like in the past when they do what you want just because your a government. google has much more power than it realizes over a government and i think its learning that now with the EU copyright stuff where they are like ya if that passes we're done and we dont care we have money else where so your only hurting your voters in the end

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also wow a talk about government that hasn't gotten heated or angry or mentioned trump yet. and they say gamers are angry people who want to shoot people cause the games we play. Hmmmm who is the civil ones now you normal people. oh ya xbox live is a thing. i take that back.

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2 minutes ago, Turretgaming said:

also wow a talk about government that hasn't gotten heated or angry or mentioned trump yet. and they say gamers are angry people who want to shoot people cause the games we play. Hmmmm who is the civil ones now you normal people. oh ya xbox live is a thing. i take that back.

The flood gates have not opened yet....

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I actually reached out to Wickr directly after the news, this is the response I got from them.

 

Quote

Elena H (Wickr Inc.) 
Dec 10, 22:49 CST 


Hello!

We are aware of Australia’s pending legislature that would give law enforcement and security agencies the ability to request access to encrypted communication. However, Wickr has been built to ensure that our servers store no user communications. All communications are undecipherable in transit and deleted upon delivery. Our customers use Wickr Pro because we are committed to this Privacy by Design. 

 

The EFF recently put out an article outlining the potential implementations of the legislation. It paints a bleak picture for Australian businesses, but points out why Wickr will carry on with business as usual:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/new-fight-online-privacy-and-security-australia-falls-what-happens-next
 

Quote

 

So this is the first step, after this Australian bill becomes law. We can imagine Facebook and Apple and other messaging services fighting these orders as best as they can. Big tech companies are already struggling with a profound collapse in trust among their customers; the knowledge that they may be compelled to lie to those users will only add to their problems.

 

But what about other services, who refuse to compromise their users’ security? What about the open source projects that will ask their Australian contributors to stop working on their security code, and businesses who will choose not to employ Australian developers, or decline to open offices in that country?

 

 

Wickr is one of the "other services" referenced in the second quoted paragraph. We do not have any Australian contributors, devs, or offices. And we definitely are not considering adding any. Especially not now, after this. We are a company based in the USA, which is also where our servers are. Sorry if the news caused any undue concern as far as Wickr is concerned, and my condolences if you are a stakeholder in an Australian company. We will refuse to compromise our users' security.

 

Wickr, Inc. will continue to work closely with law enforcement to ensure timely and responsive returns when data is validly requested. The data we provide is very limited as detailed in our legal process guidelines - https://wickr.com/privacy/#legalprocess.

 

Our Customer Security Promises hold true for both Wickr Pro and Wickr Messenger. You can learn more about our commitment to privacy, security and transparency in both Wickr Pro and Wickr Me here - 
https://wickr.com/security/.

 

You can see why Forrester selected Wickr Pro as the most advanced Secure Communications platform for Enterprises here - 
https://wickr.com/forrester-report/.

 

Thank you for contacting us, and please let us know if you have any other further questions or feedback!


Elena

 

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Those old bureaucrat buffoons everywhere really need to get they heads out of their ass holes. They're still trying to view everything as one single entity. Their view of various products is no longer true against everything. In the past, yes, there were only a handful of telecommunication companies and you can regulate the hell out of them. But most of the stuff nowadays on the internet is dispersed with no clear center. You can't just pull out your willy and try to slap on everyone's face like the "good old days"... 

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Or they could just ban the app altogether in Australia.

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9 minutes ago, williamcll said:

Or they could just ban the app altogether in Australia.

And how would they do that?

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51 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

And how would they do that?

prison time for people caught using it. 

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This is just sad xD 

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8 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

prison time for people caught using it.

Bit extreme don't you think

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the problem is that law makers are retarded in tech sense. 

 

Recently i was hearing the us congress vs google, and there was some old guy complaining to google ceo about is apple phone, he had to answer apple was a differente company ?

 

 

.

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How does Signal make money? There are implications following from that.

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4 minutes ago, porina said:

How does Signal make money? There are implications following from that.

Signal accepts donations and grants.

 

Recently the co-founder of WhatsApp who left Facebook donated a not insignificant amount of money into it.

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How does Signal compare to Telegram? I switched most of my chats to Telegram and I've been very happy so far

That's an F in the profile pic

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Froody129 said:

How does Signal compare to Telegram? I switched most of my chats to Telegram and I've been very happy so far

Signal is known to have a more secure protocol but other than that there's not too many major differences.

 

Signal requires a phone number whereas Telegram doesn't. There's a bit different functionality and Telegram groups by default don't use End to End encryption iirc.

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The funny thing is, this crypto thing in Australia was cooked up by clueless politicians who only seen security in Hollywood movies and just think there is this master key for everything and that they can just ask for it on demand. It's almost like no one told them how cryptography actually works.

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48 minutes ago, handymanshandle said:

They can be like the EU and sue until they bleed them dry.

This was in part why I asked how they get income. I'm no expert on international law, but if Signal operate wholly outside Australia (no offices, employees, infrastructure) then would Australia's law enforcement have any power to do anything?

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5 minutes ago, porina said:

 

This was in part why I asked how they get income. I'm no expert on international law, but if Signal operate wholly outside Australia (no offices, employees, infrastructure) then would Australia's law enforcement have any power to do anything?

They have no offices in Australia. iirc their only office is in the US.

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3 hours ago, AluminiumTech said:

And how would they do that?

Best they can do is remove from the all stores and ban their servers (like the anti-piracy system). Whether or not it will hurt them, it will cripple their visibility and potential user base. 

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They've banned stuff in the past in hopes to stop criminals, with no effect on meaningful crime rates.

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1 hour ago, handymanshandle said:

They can be like the EU and sue until they bleed them dry.

I mean even if they did try and sue unless they are somehow in Australia they could simply ignore it. 

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