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Signal, encrypted phone app, foils investigators by letting users leave limited digital trail

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Newly unsealed court documents published Tuesday highlight how Signal, an encrypted mobile messaging application with millions of users across the world, is creating obstacles for investigators.

Praised by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, Signal was designed to know as little information about its users as possible. Communications are protected from eavesdroppers by end-to-end encryption, and the app doesn’t store metadata for any of those messages, such as information about the recipient, sender and time of correspondence.

The FBI subpoenaed the makers of the program, Open Whisper Systems, earlier this year in hopes of acquiring details about two of its users, including names, contact information and a list of the IP addresses used each time they connected the app to the internet in order to send and receive messages.

In response to the request, Open Whisper Systems said it found records pertaining to one of the users in question, but could only provide the FBI with two pieces of information and nothing else: the date and time the account was created, and the date and time it last connected to the internet. – READ MORE

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