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.

Signal App Guide

Signal doesn’t have any in-app ads or tracking features as it’s designed with privacy at front and center. The details are laid out in full in the Signal app’s privacy policy.

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.

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.