What you need to know
- The European Commission is switching away its instant messaging to encrypted messaging app Signal.
- Signal has been praised for its secure by default communication, as well as its WhatsApp and iMessage like simplicity.
- The UK's Conservative Party also made the switch late last year.
The European Commission is switching to an encrypted messaging app, Signal as it moves to prioritize more secure communications. As reported by POLITICO:
The instruction appeared on internal messaging boards in early February, notifying employees that "Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging."
The app is favored by privacy activists because of its end-to-end encryption and open-source technology.
"It's like Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage but it's based on an encryption protocol that's very innovative," said Bart Preneel, cryptography expert at the University of Leuven. "Because it's open-source, you can check what's happening under the hood," he added.
The EU had suffered a few cybersecurity breaches over the past year, causing embarrassment to the bloc and a determination to beef up internal systems. The adoption of Signal is but a small part in that.
The European Commission isn't the only recent body to switch to Signal. The UK's Conservative Party also made the jump last year from rival app WhatsApp. It wasn't entirely due to the end-to-end encryption that Signal offers, rather, it was due to the app's delete messages feature -- which one could say is a form of security in itself. The increased size of groups was also a cited factor.
As a whole, Signal has proven alluring in recent years because of its WhatsApp like ease of use as well as its overall secure nature. Its ironic, however, that government bodies are switching to apps like this while law enforcement agencies rail against the adoption of encryption.