[Cryptography] Signal planning to support for plaintext SMS

Kevin W. Wall kevin.w.wall at gmail.com
Sun Oct 30 22:50:37 EDT 2022

On Sun, Oct 30, 2022 at 7:30 PM John Levine <johnl at iecc.com> wrote:

> It appears that John Denker via cryptography <jsd at av8n.com> said:
> >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.
> I'm with you -- the app tells you what's Signal and what's SMS, and
> makes it easy to send a note to SMS correspondents to encourage them
> to switch to Signal. Maybe there are people too dim to tell the
> difference, or who still get stuck with giant roaming SMS fees (while
> somehow avoiding giant roaming data fees) but how likely are they to
> use Signal?

>From what I've heard, based on feedback from the two people (besides my
wife) whom I've managed to convince to at least try using Signal, the
reason that they didn't stick with it is they didn't want to have 2
separate apps to send text messaging, so they made Signal their default SMS
app. But then they found out that Signal incurs 'data' charges and they
didn't have unlimited data plans (couldn't afford it), whereas they did
have unlimited SMS texting. Perhaps if they could have convinced all their
friends to convert Signal or WhatsApp or some other E2E encrypted secure
messaging app, they might have stuck with it, but since only my wife and I
were the only ones who they knew who were currently using Signal, they
decided to drop it because they had a very limited data plan (one of them,
something like 2GB/month data cap).

I suspect that that story is not untypical. I have a lot of techy (mostly
security) friends who all are on Signal and a few non-techy friends who
aren't. So, I'm fine using 2 separate apps, but most of those non-technical
users are not OK with using 2 different apps and since they don't really
seem to care all that much (comparatively speaking) about their privacy and
security concerns, convenience trumps both security and privacy.

Blog: https://off-the-wall-security.blogspot.com/    | Twitter: @KevinWWall
| OWASP ESAPI Project co-lead
NSA: All your crypto bit are belong to us.
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