[Cryptography] Signal planning to support for plaintext SMS

John C. Vernaleo jcv at netpurgatory.com
Sun Oct 30 19:39:46 EDT 2022

On Fri, 28 Oct 2022, John Denker via cryptography wrote:

> Hi --
> Signal has announced that they plan to remove the feature
> that allows the app to send and receive plaintext SMS messages
> alongside encrypted messages. I have read their announcement
>  https://Signal.org/blog/sms-removal-android/

I had assumed that despite what the blog said, the most substantial reason 
was that supporting Google's RCS (as opposed to plain SMS) was going to be 
too hard/costly/buggy to justify continuing down that road so they decided 
to focus on the part they had a chance of doing right.

> and their reasoning makes no sense to me. Even if they are
> in the narrowest sense right that the change would make the
> Signal app more secure, it would not make any particular
> user more secure, because the insecure SMS messages will
> still be there; they will just be in some other app. What's
> worse, it will make the world less secure, by creating a
> barrier to the adoption of Signal.
> If they think they can exert monopoly power and the network
> effect to shift more traffic onto the encrypted Signal
> channel, they are diametrically wrong about that. I betcha
> traffic will shift the other way.
> Is their plan really as foolish as it seems, or am I missing
> something?
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