Headline, July 24 2020/ ''' '' STUDENTS MESSAGING STAMPEDE '' '''


 STAMPEDE '' '''

IN THIS GREAT NATION OF AMERICA : A FREEDOM beacon for the entire world, - the number of greats who have downloaded Signal an encrypted messaging application, has simply skyrocketed.

Conversations about privacy and data security have only recently come to the fore. ONCE, to many Americans and the students of the world, government surveillance felt like something that happened only in other countries.

In reality, the U.S. government has a very long history of observing and tracking American citizens and many times, just about everybody.

But After the Patriot Act permitted warrantless wiretapping in 2001, and Edward Snowden leaked information from the National Security Agency in 2013, awareness of mass surveillance has grown  fold, by many folds.

Many, many Americans now, are using Signal, an app that helps to organize and participate in demonstrations against police brutality, without being spied on by law enforcement.

The week before Mr. Floyd's death, about 51,000 first-time users downloaded Signal, according to data from the analytics company Sensor Tower.

The following week, as protests grew nationwide, there were 78,000 new downloads. In the first week of June, there were 183,000 [Rani Molla at Recode noted the downloads of  Citizen, the community safety app, are also up.]

Organizers have relied on Signal to devise action plans and develop strategies for handling possible arrests for several years. But as awareness of police monitoring continues to grow, protest attendees are using Signal to communicate with friends while out on the streets.

The app uses end-to-end encryption, which means each message is scrambled so that it can be deciphered only by the sender and the intended recipient.

''If you don't have end-to-end encryption, by definition, there are other parties that can read your messages,'' said Joseph Bonneau, an assistant professor of computer science at New York University who has researched cryptography.

''That doesn't mean that they necessarily do, but it actually means that they can and, in particular, depending on what jurisdiction you are in, they can be ordered to by law enforcement.''

SMS texts are not encrypted, so those messages can be read easily off the servers and cell towers that transmit that data. WhatsApp is encrypted but owned by Facebook. Many activists believe that the applications is only as secure as Mark Zuckerberg's convictions.

Signal has already been tested. In 2016, the chat service withstood a subpoena request for data. 

The only information it could provide was the date the accounts in question were created and when they had last used Signal. Signal does not store messages or contacts on its servers, so it cannot be forced to give copies of that information to the government.

''Facebook and Twitter feel like standing on the side of the street, just kind of like, yelling,'' said  Jelani Drew-Davi, a 25-year-old black campaign manager at Kairos, an organization that teaches digital organizing strategies to people of color.

''Signal is like talking to someone I want to talk to, and going into a very quiet corner.'' In addition to privacy, some users are concerned about who may profit from their use. Signal was developed by a nonprofit.

''WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, so it may make money of who is talking to whom, when,'' said Bex Hong Hurwitz, 39, of Tiny Gigantic, a company that works with activists.[A spokesman for  WhatsApp said the company does not keep records of private conversations].

Signal also allows users to set their messages to delete after a period of time. And this month the App introduced a ''blur'' tool for photographs, which can be liabilities for protesters. May organizers suggest attendees wear nondescript clothing and face coverings, because police have identified people from protest footage.

''I stood in front of a crowd of a few thousand people the other day and told them to wear as  nondescript clothing as possible,'' said Lilth Sinclair, 25, an Afro-Indigenous organizer who lives in Portland, Ore.

Now, wider adoption of  encrypted apps seems possible. Student Ruba Abu-Salma, who recently completed her doctorate in computer science at University College, London, studied Telegram, an encrypted messaging app used widely in Hong Kong protests. She found that the apps people use to communicate are largely determined by their social group.

Michael Onah, a 29 year old attorney sums up surveillance, at very best : ''Before, it was tied to criminal activity,'' he said, referencing justifications put forward by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950s.

''But now that the White House has declared war on people who oppose hateful, racist, white supremacist groups, maybe law enforcement could extend that definition to people to people like me.''

The Honor and serving of the Latest Global Research and Thinking on Protests and Apps,  Worldwide, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Amelia Nieranberg.

With respectful dedication to the Great Humans in the world, Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Encrypt - Entirety '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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