The number of Americans downloading Signal, an encrypted messaging app, has skyrocketed over the past several weeks. Many have been using the app to organize and participate in protests against police brutality.
Towards the end of May, the week before George Floyd died, 51,000 first-time users downloaded the app; the following week as protests continued to grow nationwide, there were 78,000 new downloads. By the first week of June, there were 183,000. Organizers have relied on Signal for years to devise action plans and develop strategies for handling possible arrests. Now, protest attendees are also using the app to communicate with friends while out on the streets. The app uses end-to-end encryption, scrambling the message so only the sender and the intended recipient can decipher it. Developed by a nonprofit, the app not only provides privacy to users, but also peace of mind that the app isn’t dependent on use for profit. Some features include the option to set messages to delete after a certain amount of time, and a “blur” tool for photographs.
To learn more about the rise of Signal and benefits to using the app, especially during the ongoing protests across the nation, visit here.