The Signal app
Apple has hired a developer who worked on super-secure messaging app, Signal – a move that has added significance given recent developments.
Frederic Jacobs is a Switzerland-based developer whose most notable work was for Open Whisper Systems on Signal, a free and open source encrypted VoIP and messaging service for iOS and Android.
Now, Jacobs works for Apple.
Had this hiring happened a month ago, it probably wouldn’t have attracted much attention. However, given Apple’s current high profile court case with the FBI over data security, it takes on a very different light.
Signal just happens to be the favourite messaging app of one Edward Snowden. The encryption champion, arch-whistleblower, and Russia-dwelling US outlaw has endorsed the app on more than one occasion.
Related: Apple vs the FBI explained
The app’s advantage lies in its end-to-end encryption technology, which ensures that no-one – not hackers, snooping government agencies, or even the developer itself – can listen in on your conversations or intercept your messages.
Apple is evidently stepping up its encryption game as the US government threatens to force it crack iOS wide open. Just yesterday, a report emerged that Apple was improving iOS security to a point where any court success for the FBI would be irrelevant to future updates.