Open Whisper Systems is a creator of encrypted communication platform Signal has released an update as an open beta to enable encrypted video calling. This app already offering fully end-to-end encrypted chat and voice calling, but the video call will make it easier to convey message without compromising security. They also promise to increase the existing, voice calling feature.
Signal, authorized by whistleblower Edward Snowden, is used by a various group of users. Someone in a compromised location can take benefit of the app’s security features to connect with others securely. But the application’s demographic goes considerably beyond activists and journalists. People who prioritize security usually use Signal for more gentle functions — even casual communication with GIFs and other less secured content.
Video capabilities must serve both groups, imagining it can achieve at a level that matches more traditional, and less protected, services like Apple’s FaceTime and Google’s Hangouts. At the other side, Open Whisper Systems is continuing to work on making it easier for developers to integrate Signal into their products.
Moreover, users will be able to use CallKit in iOS 10 to answer calls directly from their lock screen. Any calls via Signal are effectively treated the same way as calls received natively on iPhone. Inappropriately, this integration might create vulnerabilities for the particularly privacy conscious because it will sync call duration and destination with iCloud. You can turned off this feature in your iPhone via settings though if you’d prefer to prioritize security over convenience.
Founder of Open Whisper Systems, Moxie Marlinspike, does not believe that video creates too many challenges on the technical side when it comes to encryption. The feature simply influences the existing secure messaging channel Signal is built on.
“Real-time encryption is almost straighter forward in some ways,” said Marlinspike. “A call is synchronous communication that’s somewhat transient which makes cryptography easier.”
To check out the new features included in the update, you willl need to go into your Signal settings and enable “video calling beta”. Remember that calls won’t work if the person you’re trying to reach hasn’t also enabled video.