The move is part of EU’s efforts to beef up cybersecurity, after several high-profile incidents shocked diplomats and officials. The European Commission has told its staff to start using Signal, an end-to-end-encrypted messaging app, in a push to increase the security of its communications. 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. Signal was developed in 2013 by privacy activists. It is supported by a nonprofit foundation that has the backing of WhatsApp founder Brian Acton, who had left the company in 2017 after clashing with Facebook’s leadership. Privacy experts consider that Signal’s security is superior to other apps’. “We can’t read your messages or see your calls,” its website reads, “and no one else can either.” While WhatsApp’s technology is based on Signal’s protocol (known as Open Whisper Systems), it isn’t open-source. Another popular messaging app, Telegram, meanwhile, faces similar concerns over the lack of transparency on how its encryption works. After a series of high-profile incidents that shocked diplomats and officials in Brussels and across the Continent, the European Union is beefing up its cybersecurity standards. In December 2018, cybersecurity research firm Area 1 Security said it found that thousands of diplomatic cables were downloaded from the EU’s COREU (or Courtesy) system, which is used by national governments and EU institutions to exchange day-to-day information on foreign policy.

via politico: EU Commission to staff: Switch to Signal messaging app

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