The initial funding for the “secret” messenger was carried out by structures associated with the CIA, which transferred several million dollars to the development of the project.
Signal, a private chat app approved by the world’s leading crypto experts, is trending again. After the Internet cleansing of Twitter and Facebook during the MAGA Maidan (followed by Facebook’s announcement that it was going to transfer data from its property – WhatsApp to the government), Signal became the most downloaded messaging application on the planet, writes New York Times.
Edward Snowden tweets this, telling his fans that Signal is the only reason he can stay alive (not the fact that he is guarded around the clock by a Russian security apparatus). Hell, even Elon Musk is there telling people to go to Signal. So many people are uploading the app that it crashes.
With the app gaining traction, I think now is a good time to post my periodic announcement on government services: Signal was created and funded by the CIA office. Yes, a CIA spin-off. The signal is not your friend.
Here are the cold hard facts.
Signal was developed by Open Whisper Systems, a nonprofit corporation run by Moxie Marlinspike, a lanky cryptographer with dreadlocks in his head and loves to surf and sail his boat. Moxie was an old friend of the now-exiled Tor’s chief radical propagandist Jacob Appelbaum, and played a similar fake-radical game, though he never quite matched Jake’s natural talent and dedication to the art of cheating. Nevertheless, Moxie shrouds himself in danger and mystery, and sets conditions for reporters not to divulge any of his personal information, not even age. He constantly talks about his fear of Big Brother and tells stories about his FBI dossier.
So how big is Moxie’s threat to the federal government?
Very big. Following the sale of his encryption startup Twitter in 2011, Moxie began collaborating with the US soft power change apparatus, including the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (now called the US Global Media Agency), to develop technology to combat internet censorship abroad. … This relationship led to his next venture: a suite of government-funded encrypted mobile chat and voice applications. Say hello to Signal.
If you look at the Signal website today, you’ll find all sorts of celebrity endorsements – Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, and even Jack Dorsey. You will also find a “donate” button, which by the way, you shouldn’t press because Signal has a lot of tech oligarch money these days. What you won’t find is the “About Me” section, which explains the origin story of Signal – a story that includes several million dollars in seed and development capital from Radio Free Asia, a subsidiary of the CIA. Whose history dates back to 1951 and includes all sorts of weird stuff and outright shit, including his 1970s connection to Munism, a tough anti-communist Korean cult.
It is difficult to determine exactly how much money Signal received from the US government, as Moxie and the Open Whisper System do not disclose sources of funding for Signal. But if you count the information that was publicly released by the Open Technologies Foundation, Radio Free Asia, which funded Signal, you find that Moxie’s company received at least $ 3 million in four years – from 2013 to 2016. This is the minimum amount received from the feds …
Three million may not seem like a lot these days, especially since Signal recently received a massive infusion of money from the oligarchs who own WhatsApp to keep running. But it’s important to know that without these early US government seed money, Signal would not exist today. And this makes us wonder: if the supercryptotechnology Signal really posed a threat to the feds and our oligarchy, why should the feds finance its creation? And why were Facebook and Google rushing to implement their ultra-secure protocols? Hmmmm …
As you can see from how Parler was shut down, when our imperial oligarchy wants to cancel an app, it can do it instantly and with a vengeance. But Signal lives on and thrives despite being a perceived threat to the omnipotent surveillance forces of the United States of America.
What are Radio Free Asia and the Open Technology Foundation? And why would the US government fund crypto technologies like Signal? On top of that, why did Silicon Valley, built on commercial surveillance, adopt Signal’s supposedly indestructible privacy technology?
But beyond Signal and its government money, I’m interested in the politics behind our culture’s obsession with cryptocurrency and privacy technology. People are clearly worried about the widespread surveillance that surrounds us. But instead of looking for political surveillance solutions, our culture has become obsessed with technological and technocratic solutions – not just Signal, but apps like Telegram and email providers like ProtonMail.
There is a sense of NRA fantasy in all of this. The idea is that if everyone is armed with a powerful enough crypto weapon, we can counter both corporations and powerful spy agencies like the NSA. We can win this war! But cryptography is an area usually dedicated to waging war and espionage between powerful states. There is nothing massive about it. This is the arena where the “power of the people” is destined to fail.
Perhaps using Signal and other “safe” apps can protect you from the local police department if you buy drugs from a local dealer, that is, if the police don’t take your phones. But if you think you can win an arms race against our imperial tech oligarchy by using apps that are launched and developed on property owned and controlled by this very imperial tech oligarchy … well, you know the answer to that question.
PS: When I was working on my book, I learned from an FOIA request that my early reporting on Tor and Signal immediately caught the attention of high-profile people in the regime change apparatus in American countries. Including Libby Liu, head of Radio Free Asia. She was terrified that my exposure of the millions of government funds that flowed into “massive” anti-government crypto technologies like Signal and Tor scared the privacy community away.
Luckily for her and the US government, she was wrong. The leading privacy activists of our time, including the people at Tor, didn’t care that their main sponsor was an old CIA operation behind the scenes. That’s what shocked me when I stumbled upon her email. Here the head of Radio Free Asia spoke of the privacy activists as if they were all in the pocket of the government. And the fact is that they were and are.
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the opinion of the editorial board.
As practice shows (and this publication), all the so-called. secure mails, instant messengers and other widely advertised methods of “safe” communication are most often a tool for special services to track and catch potential “terrorists” or those who do not want to share information with the authorities, for any reason.
Therefore, by setting up an account in such “hidden” systems, even for the sake of curiosity, you become an object of surveillance by the interested special services.