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Elon Musk broke Signal’s registration system with just one tweet

Signal Messenger experiences surge in new users after Elon Musk tweets “Use Signal”. This comes shortly after WhatsApp introduced new terms of service for its users.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, which users must accept before February 8, has drawn widespread criticism around the world.
WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, which users must accept before February 8, has drawn widespread criticism around the world. (REUTERS)

Signal, the private encrypted messenger service on Thursday tweeted that verification codes for users signing up for the app were delayed because several people were attempting to join the service.

The messenger service’s Twitter account tweeted with a clever pun “we can barely register our excitement” to inform users that they were working with carriers to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

While the service is yet to confirm the time that user sign-ups began to surge, the news comes less than five hours after Elon Musk, who surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man today, tweeted “Use Signal” to his 41.5 million followers. At the time of writing this article, the tweet had over 15,000 retweets and over 1.27 lakh likes on Twitter.

Widely considered the most privacy-friendly and secure messaging app available today, Signal is used by journalists, activists, lawyers, researchers, dissidents, politicians, and security experts around the world. It has been endorsed by famous whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, which users must accept before February 8, has drawn widespread criticism around the world. You can read our report on what happens to your data once you accept the updated privacy policy here.

Incidentally, WhatsApp also uses Signal’s encryption protocol - the system that scrambles your messages so no one can read them. However, the most important aspect of the app that differentiates it from apps like WhatsApp is the fact that it is an open-source app. This means that security experts and other knowledgeable individuals can take a look at the internals of the app and point out any issues with the code.

Signal also collects very little information about its users - apart from the information that it needs to deliver messages. In fact, it collects the least metadata, or data about your messages, compared to any other private messenger available today.

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