The Brief: Signal is an encrypted messaging application that's free to download.
Signal is an encrypted text, video, and voice messaging app known for its optimized security features. The app is run by an independent non-profit and it’s free to use, with an open-source code. The Signal app has been lauded by cybersecurity proponents including Edward Snowden.
Use By Protestors
During protests against the police killing of George Floyd, downloads of Signal have dramatically increased. According to Apptopia, Signal has been downloaded 121,000 times in the U.S. since May 25. Protestors favor Signal because its encryption makes it harder for their information to be accessed by outside parties. As police have been arresting and enacting violence against protestors across the country, there is heightened motivation to keep correspondence secure.
spring's hottest app: zoom
summer's hottest app: signal
— 𝙇𝙪𝙘𝙮 𝘿𝙞𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙡𝙤 (@SatansJacuzzi) June 2, 2020
New Blur Tools
On June 3, Signal announced its blur tools which include an option to automatically blur faces in photos. In a blog post explaining the new tools, Signal officially cited the protests in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as a place for these tools to be used to protect the identities of protestors.
— Signal (@signalapp) June 4, 2020